We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting





Henry King


1855 – 1923

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    carte de visite
    5.0 x 3.6 cm image (irreg.); 9.6 x 6.0 cm sheet; 10.2 x 6.2 cm mount card
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Henry King

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Henry King was a successful and prolific Sydney-based professional photographer who trained in the studios of John Hubert Newman before establishing his own studio in 1880. Born in England around 1855, he came to New South Wales about 1857. He travelled widely through eastern Australia photographing mainly Aboriginal people. At the World Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893 he was awarded a certificate and bronze medal. With the invention of the dry plate process he spent more time on street scenes and views. After his death, King’s collection of negatives was purchased by J R Tyrell and now resides at the Powerhouse Museum. In 1975 an exhibition of his Aboriginal portraits was held at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.

    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

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Henry King

See all 34 works