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Elijah Hart


active Australia 1852–72 – 1893

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    carte de visite
    9.3 x 5.8 cm image; 10.6 x 6.7 cm mount card
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Elijah Hart

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Elijah Hart was a well-travelled professional photographer. Before arriving in Australia in 1852 he visited China, Manila, California, the South Sea Islands and New Zealand. Hart established himself as a professional photographer in Sydney in 1852, offering hand coloured daguerreotype portraits and was one of the first to make use of the ambrotype process introduced to Australia in 1854. Hart gave up his Sydney studio in 1855 to travel around New South Wales, establishing a studio two years later in West Maitland. Hart regularly exhibited his work in Sydney and was a frequent contributor to the 'British Journal of Photography'.

    A carte de visite is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph, invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. They were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood with albums arriving in 1860, aiding the collection and distribution of multiple cartes. Cartes were usually portraits and were made by the millions worldwide. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition