KERRY, Charles (1857-1928)
Photographic portraits of Aborigines from New South Wales, Queensland and Northern Territory, 1892-95.
Suite of fifteen albumen print photographs, format 200 x 150 mm; each with blind stamp of ‘Kerry & Co. Photo, 308 George St. Sydney’ and with manuscript sequence number and title in the negative; a few with some toning or fading, but the majority are strong prints in very good condition; mounted and framed. Northern Territory subjects: 605. Port Darwin Native. 606. Port Darwin Native. Queensland subjects: 611. Barron River Native. 648. Workii Warrior. 825. Karundi Warrior. Myall Tribe. 829. Narimboo – Workii Tribe. 1370. Mary River Warrior. 1373. Warrior of the Kalkadoon Tribe. 1398. Coongardi. Gilbert River. 1900. Woman – Workii Tribe. New South Wales subjects: 1838. Dhraub. Aboriginal, Bombala, New South Wales. 1946. Aboriginal Women. 1958. Cunninghun. Aboriginal, Armidale District. 2011. Booree. Aboriginal Chief. Jervis Bay. 2643. Aboriginal, Wagga District.
Alongside those of his contemporaries Henry King and J.W. Lindt, Sydney photographer Charles Kerry’s striking portraits of indigenous Australians stand as the most accomplished and well-known of the late nineteenth century. Many were later published as series of postcards which proved immensely popular with the public. Indeed, it is fair to say that until well into the twentieth century, the extremely limited view that most white Australians had of indigenous people and their culture would have been largely based on the widely circulated images produced by Kerry. The longevity (and enduring influence) of Kerry’s images was ensured when his glass plate negatives were acquired, some time before 1930, by Sydney bookseller James Tyrrell, who sold reprints of Kerry’s Aboriginal portraits in large numbers. Two extensive collections of Kerry’s glass negatives are now held in the Powerhouse Museum and Macleay Museum, University of Sydney.
Provenance: Lord McAlpine of West Green, United Kingdom; Sotheby’s, Melbourne, Aboriginal Art, 27 June 2000.