Pose: Portraits from the Gold Museum Collection

Step inside Ballarat’s famous photography studios



Ballarat has a rich history of photography. By the early 1890s, the city boasted over a dozen photographic studios capturing the city’s landscape, events and people.

The Gold Museum’s photographic collection represents a variety of photographic studios which operated in Ballarat from the 1870s onwards. State-of-the-art studios sprang up across the city centre, and photography was embraced immediately by Ballarat locals who flocked to have their portraits taken. Each image represented their aspirations and status within the community, as well as a desire to capture a special moment for posterity.

While some portraits feature prominent Ballarat figures whose stories are etched in local history, other people are less well known.

Many of the portraits came into the collection with little information about their subjects, but are still significant for the stories they tell about Ballarat society including popular tastes, fashion choices, and the development of photographic technology.

An array of photographic objects are also featured in the exhibition including montages, carte-de-vistes, daguerreotypes, cabinet cards and ambrotypes. An extensive collection of cameras are also on display from the early 19th century box brownie to the modern-day smartphone.

Pose captures the people of Ballarat through the lens of its talented studio photographers. Find out about celebrated studios such as Richards & Co, Thomas Foster Chuck, Yeoman & Co, amongst others.

The exhibition is on until 8 March 2020.

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