Foundational Photographs: Photograph collecting in Western Australia’s early Museum and Art Gallery

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Abstract

Overlooked among the collections of the Western Australian Museum and Art Gallery, opened in Perth in 1895, is a large cross-disciplinary photograph collection. Tracing the accumulation and use of this collection through the archival record reveals its integral role in the developing institution’s interaction with global social, intellectual and administrative centres. These interactions demonstrate the value of the photograph in the propagation of modernist ideas of progress within an institution geographically isolated from contemporary Western centres of knowledge and empire, and in the promotion and recognition of the burgeoning potential and identity of a developing state. The evidence of use within the institution demonstrates the integral, but often overlooked, role of photographs within early collecting institutions, and places them squarely as foundational to Western Australia’s collections.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfhab027
Pages (from-to)317-333
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the History of Collections
Volume34
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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