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Australian art

Photography

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Title

On the Flora River

1887


Artist

Paul Foelsche

Germany, Australia

1831 - 1914


About

Paul Foelsche was a policeman and amateur photographer specialising in landscapes and anthropological images of the Larrakia people. Born near Hamburg, Germany, he immigrated to South Australia in 1856, where he joined the mounted police in Strathalbyn. In 1870 he was appointed sub-inspector in charge of the newly formed Northern Territory Mounted Police and moved to Palmerston (now Darwin), where he remained. Foelsche took up photography in the 1870s, when advances in the medium made it more accessible and affordable. Although he had no scientific training and took photographs part-time, his images were informed by theories of social Darwinism and supplied ethnologists and anthropologists with data, as well as promoting the Northern Territory as a place for European settlement. He printed all his photographs himself, but as a public servant it was not appropriate for him to sell his work. He did, however, send his photographs to international exhibitions and presented albums to friends and important visitors. As an amateur anthropologist, Foelsche wrote about the customs and lifestyles of the various Aboriginal groups, collected artefacts for the South Australian Museum and presented papers at the Royal Society of South Australia.


Details


Date

1887


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

albumen photograph


Dimensions

13.8 x 20.3 cm image/sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Josef & Jeanne Lebovic, Sydney 2014


Location

Not on display


Accession number

576.2014


Artist information

Paul Foelsche

Works in the collection

22


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history