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‘The Tabernacle' Billiard Tent at the Curlew Camp, Sydney, from the Art Gallery of New South Wales Institutional Archive

circa 1907


Roland Norman



The artists’ camp at Curlew was established in the 1890s by Rueben Brasch, a clothing manufacturer who had moved to Sydney from Melbourne around 1875. Until the turn of the 20th century a number of artists lived and worked at the camp, including Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Henry Fullwood, A. J. Daplyn, Percy Spence and Nelson Illingworth. Critic Frederick Delmer and musician William Marshall-Hall also spent time there. This photograph was taken when Fred Lane was the proprietor of the camp. From the turn of the century the camp attracted those interested in sailing and the outdoor life. By this time it had a weatherboard dining hut and a billiards tent, known as the ‘tabernacle’. Fred Lane (F. C. V. Lane) was a champion swimmer, who had won two gold medals at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris. On his return to Australia he settled at Curlew. During the week he caught the ferry to the city, where he worked as a master printer for the firm of Smith and Lane. He left the camp when he married in 1908.This photograph was given to the Art Gallery's archive by his daughter Jean Rosalind Rubensohn (nee Lane).



circa 1907

Media category


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


14.5 x 19.5 sight; 36.0 x 41.5 frame

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


National Art Archive. Gift of Jean Rubensohn 1990


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Roland Norman

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history