Sit, Pose, Snap. – Brisbane Portrait Photography 1850 – 1950

Portrait from Marcel Safier Collection, Australia

Toronto. PHSC member Marcel Safier of Australia has a  part of his collection on exhibit at the Museum of Brisbane. The exhibit, called “Sit, Pose, Snap” covers the Brisbane portraits business over the century of 1850 – 1950. The exhibit runs from March 24th through July 30th of this year. Marcel noted, “… the exhibition contains less than 10% of my Brisbane portrait photos and less than 1% of my whole portrait collection!”.

The Museum quotes, “Sit. Pose. Snap. Brisbane Portrait Photography 1850 – 1950 explores the phenomenon of studio portrait photography in Brisbane, and shows how the process of capturing and sharing a portrait evolved from the formal studio sittings of the 19th century through to candid and relaxed photographs of the mid-20th century.

“With the introduction of commercial photography in the mid 1850s, dozens of photographic studios popped up in and around Brisbane capitalising on this popular new technology. Interest in this novel sensation was high, and profitable – with photographers increasingly savvy when it came to selling their service and products.

“Featuring hundreds of Brisbane residents captured in original photographs from local studios between 1850 -1950, this exhibition draws from the extensive private collection of Marcel Safier – one of Australia’s most significant collectors of portrait photography. Discover the variety, trends and historical progression of photographic types through this period, from the early forms of daguerreotypes through to carte-de-visites and postcards.

“From personal portraits capturing life’s most significant milestones, to the curious and often humorous ways in which people presented themselves, Sit. Pose. Snap.  is a charming and nostalgic glimpse into a 19th century photographic studio.”

Note: I met Marcel when he was hosted by our editor Bob Lansdale. Marcel was in the area during a Daguerreotype Symposium. Marcel belongs to both the PHSC and the Daguerreian Society.

In an email to Daguerreian Society members, including Bob Lansdale, Marcel mentioned, “An exhibition based on my collection is currently running at the Museum of Brisbane in Australia. It features one daguerreotype (a Richard Beard as I have no Brisbane examples) and one Brisbane ambrotype, reflecting their incredible rarity, but there are hundreds of cartes and cabinet photos and many other and later photo types included.”

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