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


Bondi Beach, Sydney

circa 1889-1894


Henry King


1855 – 1923

  • Details

    circa 1889-1894
    Media category
    Materials used
    albumen photograph
    14.9 x 20.1 cm image/sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. [inscribed on glass plate negative] "...(H. King Syd.). Not dated.

    Gift of Paul Mallard 1987
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Henry King

    Works in the collection


  • About

    King’s success as a photographer eventually enabled him to build a large house in Bondi, with the beach a few streets away. Beach culture in the 19th century, however, was considerably different from today and the beach had not really established itself as an iconic part of the ‘Australian way of life’. Henry Burn’s ‘Brighton Beach’ 1862 is one of the earliest depictions of Australians by the sea. King probably took this charming photograph on the weekend, with the beach crowded. Yet the crowd is strolling and taking in the air, not swimming. A few have dared to take off their boots and paddle. The odd naked child ventures into the water. They probably escaped the daylight prohibition on bathing, which was in force in New South Wales until 1902.

    © Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Henry King

See all 34 works