James Manning was a professional photographer and clerk who arrived in Western Australia with his family in 1850. Manning’s father, James senior, was a civil engineer and had been appointed clerk of works to oversee penal facilities. Manning was initially employed as a clerk in the Postmaster General’s Department. He turned to photography in the early 1860s, going into partnership with a fellow photographer called Knight. He toured Europe to learn of the newest developments in photography in 1867 and on his return worked as an itinerant photographer in Victoria and Western Australia. In the 1870s he ran a successful portrait studio in Perth popular with the well-to-do, continuing there until 1891.
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.
carte de visite
8.6 x 5.9 cm image; 10.3 x 6.2 cm mount card
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 1 publication
Judy Annear, The photograph and Australia, Sydney, Jun 2015, 246 (colour illus.).