Max Dupain is one of Australia's most revered photographers. His work has been collected by most of the major galleries around Australia and as well by private collectors world-wide. His work has influenced generations of photographers and he is considered the most influential photographer of the 20th century.
Born in Sydney in 1911, he lived there all his life, photographing the city from the late 1930s through to just before his death on July 271992. There were a few sojourns to other countries, Paris in 1988 to photograph the Seidler Australian Embassy but mostly he was interested in photographing the architecture, the landscape, the beaches and the cities of Australia.
For many Australians, Dupain's photographs define beach culture, and it was the beach that was the inspiration for his most famous and enduring images. The Sunbaker, At Newport and Bondi all capturing that decisive moment.
However, it was not just the beach and Sydney that held his attention. Beginning in the mid thirties, Dupain took on most genres - portraits, nudes, still life and in particular, architecture. It was the latter in which his dramatically lighted portrayals expressed the abstract qualities, emphasising the simple shapes and design of a structure.
Dupain's philosophy could be summed up in two words, simplicity and directness. With this in mind, Dupain remained an adherent of black and white photography. He felt that colour was restricting in its objectivity and that nothing was left for individual interpretation. He continued to photograph until a few months before his death in July, 1992.
Max bequeathed to his long time studio manager and photographer, Jill White his exhibition archive of negatives. In 1992, Max passed away and in 1995 the 28,000 exhibition archive negatives were passed on to Jill for use by her. Jill has subsequently sold prints, produced books on his works and held exhibitions. While these negatives have been passed onto the NSW State Library to be catalogued and preserved, we have scanned most of his iconic and negatives of note for continuing production of prints.