Max Dupain has been described as a national treasure and as Australia's most celebrated photographer.
He trained briefly at the Julian Ashton Art School and the East Sydney Technical College. By 1930 he was apprenticed to commercial photographer Cecil Bostock, and became interested in the New Photography movement. Dupain opened his own business in 1934 as a non-specialist and named CSR Ltd as his oldest major client.
Dupain served as a RAAF photographer in New Guinea. After the war he travelled through much of Australia taking publicity photographs for the Australian Government for use in the nation's post-war immigration program.
From the 1950s, Dupain concentrated increasingly on architectural photography, both historic and contemporary. His clients came to include Harry Seidler, Philip Cox and Glenn Murcott. His other notable subject areas included landscape - particularly the coast and beaches, industrial forms, the nude and the portrait. Dupain preferred working in black and white to colour photography.
Dupain and UNSW
A decade after its foundation in 1949, UNSW entered a period of major campus development. During this time, from 1959 to 1970, UNSW’s main photographer of record was Max Dupain, with a small amount of photography before and after this period. Dupain's peak of activity at UNSW was between 1961 – 1966.
Dupain’s role was to visually capture what the then new university had to offer. Dupain’s photographic work at UNSW covered all aspects of university life, including staff, students, teaching and research.
This collection includes photographs transferred to the University Archives from the roughly 140 jobs Dupain carried out for UNSW. The presence and absence of familiar architecture in the campus and its surrounds documents a campus – and a city – in a period of rapid growth and change. These images vividly attest to the artistic vision of their photographer, demonstrating Dupain’s characteristically modernist treatment of line and form in architectural photography. (Courtesy UNSW Archives).OccupationPhotographer
Construction - View from Heffron Building showing Engineering complex foundations with Webster Building on right and Wallace Wurth School of Medicine and Biological Sciences building construction at skyline
Grating Infra-red spectrometer in use in the Spectroscopy Laboratory - School of Chemistry - Heffron Building