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National Museum of Australia

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Two photographs on card entitled Karpi Bay from mission garden, and Cultivating arrowroot at mission garden

2008.0013.0004

Two photographs on card entitled Karpi Bay from mission garden, and Cultivating arrowroot at mission garden

Object information

Physical description

Two black and white photographs adhered on each side of a blue-grey card page which has a narrow strip of white fabric adhered to one side to form a hinge. Each photo has a caption typed on decorated white paper adhered beneath it.
The photograph on one side is captioned "KARPI BAY FROM MISSION GARDEN / The Nowa Nowa Arm runs to the left of the bathing-house on the other shore, where we find Lake Tyers House." The photograph shows a body of water surrounded by trees. In the foreground there is a rowboat at the edge of the water, with two silhouetted human figures standing in the boat. The photograph on the opposite side is captioned "CULTIVATING ARROWROOT AT MISSION GARDEN / The habit and height of this beautiful root may be ascertained from this picture." The photograph shows a row of tall, broad-leafed plants with a man with a beard and rolled-up shirt sleeves standing to one side.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of eight sepia-toned photographs mounted on each side of four 20 x15cm blue-grey cards. A printed caption on white paper is glued to the card mount beneath each photograph. A narrow strip of fabric which at one time formed an album page hinge is adhered to one edge of each card.

Nicholas Caire is one of the most widely published of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian photographers. Between 1875 and 1905 Caire travelled the countryside of Victoria to photograph scenery for the lucrative 'views' market. His love of the landscape enabled him to create images which earned him a loyal audience during his lifetime, and an enduring place as one of Australia's early nature photographers. Captivated by the beauty of the Gippsland region, Caire made repeated excursions into the lakes district, photographing the scenery for his 1886 Gippsland Scenery series of which this collection is a sample. By the late 1870s, photographs of the Gippsland Lakes were becoming increasingly popular in Melbourne, helping to generate a new tourist market for the region. One of the continuing themes of Caire's work was the Aboriginal people at Lake Tyers Aboriginal Mission station and their daily lives. These are the only known copies of these images.

Object information

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