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Charles Montague Luke was born in Victoria, the son of a well known press photographer, E. T. Luke. Monte Luke was first employed as a messenger for Baker & Rouse, photographic suppliers, but, from 1907, worked as an actor until appointed as official still and movie cameraman for the theatrical firm J. C. Williamson’s.

Around 1919 Luke went into partnership with the Falk studio in the Strand before setting up his own studio in the same building in L. W. Appleby’s old studio. Luke’s studio specialised in weddings and social portraits but also gained a reputation for smart advertising work.

Luke joined the Sydney Camera Circle in 1921 and meetings were henceforth held in his studio until at least the late 1930s.

Luke was a prolific exhibitor, known for dramatic portrait studies but delicate landscapes. A selection of thirty-seven of Luke’s dramatic landscapes was published in the 1930s entitled Under Sunny Skies (n.d.) of which only one copy (in the National Library of Australia) is known.

However, only a small number of his many exhibition prints have survived.


above text based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980



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