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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information

The photograph and Australia

See the images that shaped a nation

Photography has been crucial in the development of our understanding of Australia as a place and Australians as a people. Tracing the evolution of the medium and its many uses from the 1840s until today, The photograph and Australia investigates the role that photography has played in shaping our view of the world, ourselves and each other.

Sourced from more than 35 private and public collections across Australia, New Zealand and England, the exhibition features works by renowned artists, as well as images by unknown photographers and everyday material such as family albums and postcards. Weaving together the multiple threads of Australia’s photographic history, it proposes a new way of thinking about the connections between photography, place and identity.

Artists include Morton Allport, Richard Daintree, Paul Foelsche, Samuel Sweet, JJ Dwyer, Charles Bayliss, Frank Hurley, Harold Cazneaux, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain, David Moore, Sue Ford, Carol Jerrems, Tracey Moffatt, Simryn Gill, Robyn Stacey, Ricky Maynard and Anne Ferran, among many others.

As part of The photograph and Australia, Patrick Pound’s installation The readers 2011-15 is on display in the Gallery’s research library.

Major partner Canon. Media partners Who, 7, Sydney Morning Herald. Supported by Presidents Council

Images: David Moore Migrants arriving in Sydney 1966 (detail), gelatin silver photograph, 30.2 × 43.5 cm, gift of the artist 1997 © Lisa, Karen, Michael and Matthew Moore. Charles Bayliss Group of local Aboriginal people, Chowilla Station, Lower Murray River, South Australia (detail) from the album New South Wales Royal Commission: Conservation of water. Views of scenery on the Darling and Lower Murray during the flood of 1886 1886, albumen photograph, 23.6 × 29.5 cm, purchased 1984. Unknown photographer Australian scenery, Middle Harbour, Port Jackson c1865 (detail), carte de visite, 6.3 × 10.3 cm (card), gift of Josef & Jeanne Lebovic, Sydney 2014. Charles Nettleton Untitled 1867-74, carte de visite, 6.3 × 10 cm (card), purchased 2014. Max Dupain Sunbaker 1937 (detail), gelatin silver photograph, 37.9 × 42.8 cm, purchased 1976. Ricky Maynard The Healing Garden, Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania 2005 (detail) from the series Portrait of a distant land, gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned, 34 × 52 cm image, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors Group and the Photography Collection Benefactors Program 2009 © Ricky Maynard. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney. All works are in the Art Gallery of NSW collection, where they can be viewed in full.

21 Mar – 8 Jun 2015

$15 adult
$12 concession
$10 member
$8 child (5-17 years)
$38 family (2 adults, up to 3 kids)
$7 student (booked school group)
$20/$17/$14 multi-visit
Free for children under 5
Dining package available

Major exhibition gallery
Research library and archive