Max DUPAIN, Manly Enlarge 1 /1


Australia 1911 – 1992

Manly 1938 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 26.6 h x 25.4 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of the Philip Morris Arts Grant 1982
Accession No: NGA 83.2210

From 1938, and throughout the late 1940s after his return from the war, Dupain took many photographs of Manly beach from the high vantage point offered by its iconic shark tower. These landscapes often found striking diagonal obliques in the convergence of incoming surf, the activities of lifesavers, the lines of beachgoers, and the surrounding modernist architecture, including promenades. These photographs tell us as much about Dupain’s leisure time as they do his artistic interests: the beach was ‘how I used to spend my weekends’, Dupain later wrote. More than its convenience, Manly offered a very local experience of modernity. Dupain strongly believed in and advocated for a contemporary photography, that it was important to consciously be part of the age into which one was born.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra