J. W. LINDT, Mourners and Dead House at Kalo, New Guinea Enlarge 1 /1


Germany 1845 – , Australia 1926

  • Australia from 1862

Mourners and Dead House at Kalo, New Guinea 1885 Place made: Kalo, Central Province, Papua New Guinea
Materials & Technique: photographs, carbon print mural size enlargement Support: wood in original frame

Dimensions: printed image 88.0 h x 120.0 w cm
Accession No: NGA 2005.1159

Johannes Lindt emigrated to Australia from Germany in 1862. He took up photography in Grafton, New South Wales, where he made his reputation in 1873 with a series of studio portraits of local Indigenous people. Lindt was, however, more interested in New Guinea than in Australia – a fascination dating from 1868 when he travelled home from a trip to Europe via the Torres Strait. Following the proclamation of an Australian protectorate over part of south-east New Guinea in 1884, Lindt secured passage as a voluntary member of the expedition of Sir Peter Scratchley, Special Commissioner for Great Britain in New Guinea.

In 1887 Lindt published a book on his trip – Picturesque New Guinea. With an historical introduction and supplementary chapters on the manners and customs of the Papuans – illustrated with fifty photomechanical prints. It was a great success and became a first introduction to New Guinea for many general readers.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008