Melbourne post-war photography

A companion to the State Library of Victoria's 'As modern as tomorrow' exhibition. Includes images held in our Pictures Collection and links to external sites. Explores individual photographers and photographic styles.

Commercial studios

A vibrant and creative culture emerged with many photographers establishing commercial studios around the thriving arts precinct in Collins Street.

After the war, Wolfgang Sievers and Helmut Newton set up studios in Collins Street and Flinders Lane respectively, and Athol Shmith's studio was nearby; during the 1950s Norman Ikin had a studio in Waratah Place.

The New Photography movement in Europe (also known as New Objectivity), encouraged the proliferation of images through mass distribution.

For photographers of this era, the printed page became a primary exhibition space and exposure through commercially distributed material was highly regarded.

Other studios operating at the time were the Hans Bonney Studios at Camberwell Junction, the Ritter-Jeppesen Studios at 107-111 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne and Beaver Photographic.

Maggie Diaz at work Mark Strizic H2008.11/1777

Images above: Left - Maggie Diaz at work. The Library holds a large range of Maggie Diaz works

Right -  Mark Strizic H2008.11/1777.  The Library holds a large range of Mark Strizic works

Corporate and commercial images

This was a vibrant period for commercial photography, when corporate bodies such as the Australian Wool Board, British Nylon Spinners, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Kodak and Shell sought to present a new, progressive image of all aspects of their operations.

Photographers, art directors and designers had opportunities to produce sophisticated corporate publications, advertising and promotional material.

The photographs of Victoria’s flourishing postwar industries express what the émigré photographer Wolfgang Sievers described as ‘the dignity of man as a worker’.

Advertising photography

Images below: Left: Uncatalogued item ca. 1968 - ca. 1969. See these other images of Schulim Krimper furniture by the photographer.

Right Wolfgang Sievers, Sebel showrooms, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne 1968,. H2004.100/49 See also other Wolfgang Sievers commercial interiors

'Fleurama' range lounge suite, Mark Strizic, Sebel furniture showrooms, Sievers, 1968,

Architectural photography

Sievers H98 30 387

Left - Siemens building, Richmond, Mark Strizic. 1963, H2008.142/101
Right - Savoy Plaza Hotel Wolfgang Sievers. Try these other images of buildings and residences by Wolfgang Sievers


Industrial photography

Wolfgang Sievers Ford motor plant H88.40/945 Shell_H2006_47_462_Helmut_Newton

Images above: Left - Ford  Motor Plant, Wolfgang Sievers, 1952, H88.40/945. See more examples of Sievers factory photographs.
Right - Shell Company, Helmut Newton, ca 1953, H2006.47/445-688

Photographers and their work

Photographers of interest

Some international influences

Industrial photographers

Some international influences

State Library Victoria

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As we do this some catalogue links may not resolve correctly.