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John Cato

Australian photographer and teacher

John Chester Cato (1926 – 2011)

About John Cato

(There's no much in the way of biography available - so have drawn this text from Wikipedia)

John Cato's career in photography started at the age of 12 as an apprentice to his father, Jack Cato.

Returning in 1946 after service in the Pacific for the Royal Australian Navy during WW2, John Cato worked as a self-employed photographer before being employed by Argus Newspaper as a photojournalist in 1947.

He held that position until 1950 when he became a photographer and assistant for Athol Shmith Pty Ltd. In Collins Street, Melbourne and married Dawn Helen Cadwallader in October that year. During this period he undertook research for his father Jack on the latter's The Story of the Camera in Australia published in 1955. In 1955, Cato and Shmith became business partners and started Athol Shmith-John Cato Pty Ltd.

When in 1959-60 the MoMA The Family of Man exhibition toured Australia, John Cato visited the show several times and was inspired by its humanist themes and optimism. He moved away from the commercial photography world in 1974.

Shortly after leaving his partnership with Athol Shmith, Cato began his teaching career and started to focus on fine art photography. John Cato was one of the first photographers in Melbourne to give up their commercial practice to become a fine art photographer.

For the full Wikipedia entry - click here


Below images from a special portfolio published using photographs from one of his series - Figures in a landscape - Proteus.







Other Resources

NGV - National Gallery of Victoria John Cato collection - click here.

MGA - Monash Gallery of Art (Home of photography) - John Cato collection - click here

Generations, Jack Cato & John Cato, 1996 Exhibition catalogue essay, Gael Newton, click here

Art Blart - about the 2011 John Cato retrospective at the photographers' gallery Melbourne - click here

Interview with John Cato in 2000 - click here

Sydney Morning Herald 2013 article about a retrospective exhibition in Ballarat - click here


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