MAY AND MINNA MOORE
May C. 1880-1930
and Minna Moore were New Zealand born sisters who established a
photographic studio in Wellington in 1908. May,
who had attended
Elam Art School in Auckland, instigated the studio, and Minna,
a teacher, joined her and later ran the studio after May had moved
to Sydney around 1913.
Moore had been encouraged to move by the success of the Moore studio’s
portraits of theatre personalities in New Zealand and continued
this specialty from a new studio in
building in Sydney. Minna Moore followed her sister to Sydney
about 1913 but
after a brief period of partnership when their work was signed “May
and Minna Moore”, moved to Melbourne and set up a studio
in the Auditorium building, Collins Street.
1916 Minna Moore married William Tainish, a poet and businessman
and gave up her
studio in 1918. May married not long after her
arrival in Sydney but continued to operate the studio until
the late 1920s
with the assistance of her husband, a Sydney dentist. Harry
and Minna Moore did not exhibit in the pictorial salons. Their
work was often published in magazines and was distinctive
simple but dramatic treatment of portraiture.
particular the Moore studio was recognisable by the use of a device
as “Rembrandt” lighting,
where a pencil of light fell on one side of the face with the
rest in shadow as in plate 24 (L. Hopkins c.1914).
text based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980