Frank Corley

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Frank Corley (born Francis Huia Miller Corley, 15 January 1913-19 October 1995) was a New Zealand-born commercial photographer who worked in South East Queensland, and primarily Brisbane in Australia. Corley was one of a number of commercial house photographers who worked in Brisbane from the late 1950s onwards, selling photographs of suburban homes to their owners, often in the form of calendars.[1]

Corley's business was called the Pan American Home Photographic Co., and comprised a team of employees involved in photography, sales and printing.[1] Corley was married to Eunice Reid Corley (1913-1988), who worked closely with him in the enterprise.[2] Corley was known to take the photographs from the driver's seat of his Cadillac, while Eunice followed in a 'darkroom van' where she developed the photographs.[3] It is estimated that Corley took more than half a million photographs of Queensland houses.[3]

While produced for commercial purposes, today, Corley's photographs represent an important and unparalleled survey of suburban Brisbane during postwar decades, capturing the city during an important moment of transition and expansion.

Frank and Eunice Corley House Photographs Collection[edit]

In 1995 a large collection of Corley's photographs were acquired by the John Oxley Library, at the State Library of Queensland.[4] The library holds more that 60,000 of Corley's black and white photographs of single detached houses. There are also a small number of photographs of suburban shops. The collection comprises unsold photographs, which were retained, largely, for taxation purposes.[1] The collection is one of the most substantial photographic collections of housing and the suburbs in the country.[5] As of August 2018, more that 50,000 of these have been digitised.[6] Since 2014 the Annerley-Stephens History Group has been working to identify the houses in the collection. The project has been co-ordinated by historian Dennis Peel, and more than 200 volunteers have been involved.[7]

The work of Frank and Eunice Corley is currently featured in an exhibition titled 'Home: A Suburban Obsession' at the State Library of Queensland that opened on December 6, 2018.[8][9] In December 2018 the State Library of Queensland launched an interactive online tool, known as the Corley Explorer, to facilitate public engagement with the collection and crowdsource information about the houses represented in the extant photographs.[10] The Corley Explorer was developed by Mitchell Whitelaw and Geoff Hinchcliffe, from the Data Design Lab at the ANU School of Art and Design.[11]

External links[edit]

  • "Frank and Eunice Corley House Photographs". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  • "Home: A Suburban Obsession". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  • "Home: a suburban obsession". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  • Brown, Alison (27 November 2018). "Never-before-seen photos bring 1960s Queensland back to life". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  • State Library of Queensland. "Frank and Eunice Corley [Film]". Vimeo. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  • State Library of Queenland. "The Corley Collection [Film]". Vimeo. Retrieved 28 November 2018.*
  • "Corley Explorer". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 4 December 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Peel, Denis (lead); Annerley-Stephens History Group Inc. (issuing body) (2015). The Frank Corley house project : phase one (PDF). Annerley, Qld: Annerley-Stephens History Group Inc.
  2. ^ "Frank and Eunice Corley House Photographs Ca. 1970. [Catalogue Entry]". State Library of Queensland Online Catalogue. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b Brown, Alison (27 November 2018). "Never-before-seen photos bring 1960s Queensland back to life". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  4. ^ Burgess, Melanie (November 8, 2014). "History group re-creating Brisbane's 1970s streetscape with photo project". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. ^ Roberts, Sally (28 November 2018). "Suburban Obsession". The West End Magazine. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  6. ^ Library Board of Queensland (2018). Annual Report of the Library Board of Queensland, 2017-18 (PDF). p. 18. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  7. ^ Faulkner, Jeni (June 16, 2017). "'History group takes out John Oxley award for house'". Courier Mail. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  8. ^ Collins, Kate. "Our Streets Star Again!". Sandgate Guide. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Home: a Suburban Obsession, State Library of Queensland". Must Do Brisbane. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Unlock the Corley Explorer". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Corley Explorer". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 4 December 2018.