# 37699

TAYLOR, J. (James)

Kangaroo hunting. Aboriginals of Musgrave Ranges, Central Australia, August 22nd 1889.

$350.00 AUD

  • Ask a question

[Title from printed caption in lower margin]. [Published ca. 1900]. Collotype process print with hand colouring,175 x 225 mm (image), on sheet 250 x 300 mm; lower margin of sheet with imprint of ‘J. Taylor, Collotype, Adelaide, Copyright’ and printed caption in black; the print is in excellent condition; some light marks to margins of the sheet.

James Taylor, photographer and collotypist, arrived in South Australia from Scotland in 1864. After working for many years in Gawler and Port Augusta he set up business in Adelaide in the early 1900s, producing commercial collotype postcards and prints from original photographs most likely taken by himself on his travels in outback South Australia.

The present photograph was taken in the Musgrave Ranges, which straddle the border between South Australia and the Northern Territory. Because of the early date, the hunters in the photograph are probably Yankunytjatjara, and not Pitjantjatjara people.

The fact that Taylor took pains to retain specific information in his captions suggests not only that he took his own photographs; it also indicates that he understood the importance of preserving contextual data, meaning that the photographs he published as collotypes, even after his move to Adelaide, have a value far greater than mere generic images.

Trove locates no other example of this Taylor collotype.

A note on the collotype process:

‘A reproductive printmaking technique that is photographically based. Although collotype is increasingly rare, in the early 20th century it was employed for its effectiveness in reproducing the subtle delicacy of drawings and photographs. A photographic negative is projected onto a printing plate coated with light-sensitive gelatin that hardens and becomes receptive to the application of ink. Paper is laid on top and the image is printed on a press.’ (MoMA)