# 43166

DEGOTARDI, John (1823-1882) (attributed)

[SYDNEY] View from Redfern of the Intercolonial Exhibition in Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills, circa 1870.

Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 64 x 97 mm (mount); recto inscribed in ink at bottom margin: ‘Exhibition from Redfern’; verso blank; the print has lost some contrast at right edge, but is otherwise in very good condition; the mount is clean and stable.

The Intercolonial Exhibition opened on 30 August 1870, and this commercial carte de visite was almost certainly produced as a tourist souvenir around that time. In the image, crowds of visitors can be seen milling outside the spectacular main building, which is surrounded by kiosks and pavilions of various shapes and sizes. Beneath the flags on the left are the entrance gates themselves, with a sign reading ‘PAY HERE’ and several large printed placards advertising the Exhibition. The building stood on this site for 84 years – far outstripping the Garden Palace, built for the 1879 Exhibition in The Domain, which barely lasted three years before it was destroyed by fire in 1882.

We have tentatively attributed this photograph (as well as three others from the same source, all views taken around the eastern suburbs foreshore of Sydney Harbour) to John Degotardi senior (1823-1882). Of the photographic artists active in Sydney in the late 1860s and early 1870s, Degotardi was unquestionably the most prolific documenter of Sydney’s architectural landmarks – its civic edifices and its private residences – as well as its majestic harbour. Degotardi published his views in various formats, but notably as cartes de visite without a printed back mark, as in this case. The NGA (Accession Number: 78.853.2.7) holds a larger format view of the Exhibition building which has Degotardi’s blind stamp.

We have not been able to trace another example of this particular view of the Exhibition, which was possibly taken from a spot in the middle of Cleveland Street.