Max Dupain Photography

Dupain's photography in situ: ideas & possibilities

The use of artwork is an essential consideration in any interior design of commercial and residential spaces. It is critical in creating an atmosphere consistent with the function and design of any interior space. It creates a focal point for the people that work, live and transit the room and helps to heighten engagement and comfort or interest in the space.

Dupain’s photography is revered, studied, analysed and exhibited across the country, in art galleries, and government and private premises. His creative and documentary works of 20th century Australian life adds a unique quality and character to any interior space. The following images provide the viewer with ideas and possibilities for how Dupain’s iconic and lesser known images can be applied to a variety of interiors, whether its an office building, hotel or private residence.

Dupain worked consistently over his 60 years of dedication to capturing the Australia he loved. He was an innovator, a deep thinker, a man of culture and physicality who captured Australian people, landscapes, society and forms in over 180,000 negatives. He was Australia’s most admired and prolific photographer and was a pioneer of modernism in Australia with its focus on simplified visual documentation of subjects using dramatic light contrasts, sharp focus and challenging angles. Dupain’s images can create a valuable, fascinating aesthetic to any interior space.

Hotels and commercial buildings


Sunbaker 1937 in a corporate office reception

Dupain's most iconic image only came to be his signature work 40 years after it was taken on the South Coast of NSW. It provides an immediate presence for visitors visiting the company.

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Morning rush hour, Sydney Harbour Bridge 1937 in a office foyer

More than a million people watched the opening of the Bridge in 1932. At the time it was the longest single span bridge, and widest bridge in the world. There was a tram line running along the eastern side and a train line along the western side. The traffic and bridge are still perhaps symbols of Sydney transport to this day.

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Magnolia 1982 in a hotel lobby

The still life image of Dupain's Magnolia 1982 provides a classic, soft focal point for visitors to an enclosed collection space such as a lobby.

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Images of Circular Quay, Sydney 1938 above a hotel room lounge

Morning commuters, The Kubu, 1938 & Circular Quay, two ferries, 1938.

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Magnolia 1982 print in a hotel room

A consistent objective in Dupain's photography was to simplify often complex subjects or contexts. Here he endeavored to create a simple statement through symmetry and the use of a single light. This beautiful Magnolia grandiflora image is one of his best flower still life images that provides an alluring focal point for any interior

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Residential living areas


Waratah & moon 1982 and Angel's trumpet 1983 in living room

These images of Dupain's were part of his experimentation in the 1980s with flower subjects, including at night time. These images provide an organic, delicate infusion into a modern living area and provide a peaceful, pleasing focal point.

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The jetty, 1952

This image was taken near Kurnell, Sydney. Dupain had lined up the shot and the girl with the wheelbarrow walked onto the jetty making for a charming composition. The perspective and low angle of the sun provide a sense of spaciousness and distant focal point to compliment the peaceful charm of this coastal landscape.

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Sunrise at Newport, 1974

Taken from a cliff-top above Newport Beach, this image captures the brilliant ocean of reflected morning light subsuming a lone early morning runner. It brings together sun, ocean and land with a lonely figure in the foreground. An image that captures Dupain's professional and personal interests - light and form, beach and ocean.

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Manly afternoon, 1940s in a residential dining room

Dupain loved the beach and took thousands of images of Sydney beaches including Manly Beach. This image captures a bygone era of beach fashion and culture and yet it exhibits a charm and familiarity that viewers can appreciate. It is an iconic beach portrait that will engage people working, living or visiting the interior where it is hung.

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More images available and can be viewed in our galleries