Max Dupain and the photography of Australian architecture

Boddy, Adrian (1996) Max Dupain and the photography of Australian architecture. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

This thesis considers Max Dupain (1911-1992) and his contribution to the development of architectural photography in Australia.

Through his continuous and prolific output over six decades of professional photography Dupain greatly stimulated awareness of and interest in Australian architecture.

Before Dupain began specialising in the field, little consistent professional architectural photography had been practised in Australia. He and some of his close associates subsequently developed architectural photography as both a specialised branch of photography and - perhaps more significantly - as a necessary adjunct to architectural practice.

In achieving these dual accomplishments, Dupain and like-minded practitioners succeeded in elevating architectural photography to the status of a discipline in its own right. They also gave Australians generally a deeper understanding of the heritage represented by the nation's built environment. At the same time, some of the photographic images he created became firmly fixed in the public imagination as historical icons within the development of a distinctive Australian tradition in the visual arts.

Within his chosen field Dupain was the dominant Australian figure of his time. He was instrumental in breaking the link with Pictorialism by bringing Modernist and Documentary perspectives to Australian architectural photography. He was an innovator in the earlier decades of his professional career, however, his photographic techniques and practice did not develop beyond that. By the end of the 1980s he had largely lost touch with the technology and techniques of contemporary practice.

Dupain's reputation, which has continued growing since his death in 1992, therefore arises from reasons other than his photographic images alone. It reflects his accomplishment in raising his fellow citizens' awareness of a worthwhile home-grown artistic tradition.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 36005
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Additional Information: Volume 1 is not openly available due to Copyright restrictions on many of the images. Presented to the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Photographers Australia, Architectural photography Australia, thesis, masters
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Adrian Boddy
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:04
Last Modified: 25 May 2016 01:58

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