Farewell to Max Dupain

Media release: Friday, 13 June 2008

Visitors to the National Archives in Canberra have only one more week to catch the Max Dupain on Assignment exhibition.

During its six-month term, the exhibition has attracted enthusiasm from visitors across Australia and further afield, with comments such as 'truly inspirational', 'the work of a true artist' and 'what a treasure to behold'.

Dupain's portrayal of early Australia has caught the imagination of many. A young French woman who recently became an Australian wrote 'this exhibition is a perfect way to learn about my new country'. Another visitor described the exhibition as 'The Australian story – exquisitely told'.

The exhibition highlights the photographs Dupain took while working for Commonwealth government departments and companies such as CSR Limited. At the time he created some of his most imaginative works which include corporate and advertising shots, as well as images of life on the canefields. The photographs are now held by the National Archives and the Noel Butlin Archives at Australian National University.

'This exhibition provides an opportunity to see creative Dupain works, many of which have never been exhibited before,' said Caroline Webber, exhibitions manager with the National Archives.

She finds Dupain's industrial images particularly striking. A favourite shows a storage area of stacked metals where his abstract technique has used the contrast of light and shadow to create visual patterns in close-ups.

'Some of his architectural photographs are quite strong as well,' says Ms Webber. 'He worked closely with Jorn Utzon to document the creation of the Sydney Opera House.'

The exhibition's last day is 22 June 2008.

Media can download high resolution images from www.naa.gov.au/collection/snapshots/dupain/for-media/index.aspx

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0427 853 664 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019