Henri Mallard

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Henri Marie Joseph Mallard
Born Henri Marie Joseph Mallard
(1884-02-09)9 February 1884
Australia
Died 21 January 1967(1967-01-21) (aged 82)
Balmain, Sydney
Nationality Australian
Education self-taught
Known for Photography
Notable work(s) Nearing their journey's end (1920s)
Break-o-day, railway siding, (1939)
Movement Pictorialism, Modernism
Spouse(s) Hilda Mary Cousins

Henri Marie Joseph Mallard (1884–1967), was an Australian photographer.

Born in Balmain (Sydney, Australia) of French parents, he came to photography via the industry. Using his French connections, and accent (which was strong owing to his home education), he secured a position in 1900 with Harrington[1] (later Kodak Pty Ltd) as a sales representative to the French consulate. He remained with the company, becoming general manager, until 1952. With ready access to equipment and materials he was an enthusiastic amateur exhibitor by 1904.

He used his business and connections to support other photographers;[2] he was influential on fellow Sydney-sider Frank Hurley, encouraging the budding photographer's interest in the medium and in 1911 recommending Hurley for the position of official photographer to Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic expedition, ahead of himself.;[3] moving to Harington's Melbourne office in 1913, he opened the showrooms to exhibitions, including that of John Kauffmann in 1914.

He was a strong advocate for art photography; on his return to Sydney (1916) he joined (in 1917) the Sydney Camera Circle whose "manifesto" had been drawn up and signed on 28 November 1916 by the founding group of six photographers; Harold Cazneaux, Cecil Bostock, James Stening, W.S. White, Malcolm McKinnon and James Paton. They pledged "to work and to advance pictorial photography and to show our own Australia in terms of sunlight rather than those of greyness and dismal shadows".[4] He also contributed lectures and technical demonstrations to the New South Wales Photographic Society.[5]

He is best known for his documentation of the Australian icon Sydney Harbour Bridge between the late 1920s to the early 1930s. Photographing from precarious vantage points on the bridge itself, sometimes a hundred metres above Sydney Harbour, his work sets the construction against the harbour and the growing city and uses the figures of the workers to represent the scale of this Depression-era engineering feat.[6] His pictures and film of the Bridge were an intentional historical document and the project was self-generated. Between 1930 and 1932, he produced hundreds of stills and film footage.[7]

Prior to his project to document the Bridge, Mallard worked in the Pictorialist style prevailing in the New South Wales Photographic Society, and though Modernist in composition and design, many of the Bridge images are printed in bromoil. By comparison, Harold Cazneaux's contemporaneous photographs, taken from around the base of the bridge, retain a romantic Pictorialism. In 1976 the Australian Centre for Photography commissioned David Moore (1927–2003) to make an archive of gelatin silver prints from the collection of Mallard's glass negatives and these were published in association with Sun Books in 1978.

“Here we have the documentary photograph, radical enough in its context, the social document, a large slice of Sydney's evolution and an example to all of us who think of future generations in terms of historical narration." Max Dupain[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 1892 the first volume of Australian photographic journal (Sydney, N.S.W), was published in which short articles on 'art-versus-photography' appeared from time to time (the journal later becomes Harrington's Photographic Journal (H.P.J.) published Sydney : Harrington & Co., 1910–1927) (Gael Newton. "Australian pictorial photography : a survey of art photography from 1898 to 1938 organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney" Sydney : Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1979. ISBN 0724017151 )
  2. ^ "By a strange coincidence the plumber who rigged my home darkroom was a keen amateur photographer and a member of the NSW Photographic Society. He persuaded me to join it. That's democratic Australia for you! I think everyone belonged to it except some of the elite from The Sydney Camera Circle. I met and received encouragement from Arthur Smith, HN Jones, Henri Mallard, Doug Hill, Harold Cazneaux and others. The monthly competitions were a great thing. Pictures were hung as in a gallery and you saw your own work alongside work by other photographers." from Max Dupain's typewritten notes, c. 1976, in catalogue of "Max Dupain – Modernist", 9 June to 23 September 2007, State Library of New South Wales, curator: Avryl Whitnall. Sydney: State Library of New South Wales, June 2007 (ISBN 0-7313-7176-3)
  3. ^ while Hurley records his approach to Mawson differently in his memoir, the fact of this introduction via Mallard was established by David P. Millar in "From snowdrift to shellfire : Capt. James Francis (Frank) Hurley, 1885–1962" Sydney : David Ell Press, 1984. (ISBN 0908197594)
  4. ^ Harold Cazneaux letter to Jack Cato National Library of Australia Manuscript MS 5416
  5. ^ Gael Newton "Silver and Grey: fifty years of Australian photography 1900 – 1950", Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1980
  6. ^ see page 176–178 Intersections: Photography, History and the National Library of Australia, Helen Ennis, National Library of Australia, 2004. ISBN 0-642-10792-0, ISBN 978-0-642-10792-3. 277 pages
  7. ^ The Construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, film by Mallard, Henri. ; Litchfield, Frank.[Sydney] : Institution of Engineers, Australia, Sydney Division, [1995].
  8. ^ Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge / photographer: Henri Mallard ; introduced by Max Dupain and Howard Tanner. Melbourne : Sun Books in association with Australian Centre for Photography, 1976. ISBN 0-7251-0232-2

References[edit]

  • Helen Ennis "Intersections: Photography, History and the National Library of Australia", Canberra : National Library of Australia, 2004. ISBN 0-642-10792-0
  • Henri Mallard (photographer) ; introduced by Max Dupain and Howard Tanner."Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge". Melbourne : Sun Books in association with Australian Centre for Photography, 1976. ISBN 0-7251-0232-2
  • Gael Newton. "Australian pictorial photography : a survey of art photography from 1898 to 1938 organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney" Sydney : Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1979. (ISBN 0724017151)
  • Gael Newton ; with essays by Helen Ennis and Chris Long and assistance from Isobel Crombie and Kate Davidson. "Shades of light : photography and Australia 1839–1988" Canberra : Australian National Gallery : Collins Australia, 1988. (ISBN 0732224055 (Collins Australia : pbk.))
  • Gael Newton "Silver and Grey: fifty years of Australian photography 1900 – 1950", Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1980.

External links[edit]

  • Shades of Light (Australian Photography 1839 – 1988) the online version of the original Shades of Light published 1998, Gael Newton, National Gallery of Australia.
  • [1] the online version of Gael Newton's "Australian pictorial photography : a survey of art photography from 1898 to 1938 organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney" Sydney : Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1979.