Albert Brown

Australian photographer


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About Albert Brown, Australian photographer, member of Group M


(this text drawn from Philip Bentley's thesis on Group M)

Albert Brown (born 1931 - died 4th October 2017) was a key figure in the Melbourne photographer's group - Group M.

Albert was an industrial chemist. He had initially been introduced to the Moving Clickers by Don McDonald, with whom he worked at Nicholas Pharmaceuticals, but he quickly became involved in the wider Clicker movement.

He found that their humanist philosophy struck a chord within him, and gave direction to his rudimentary interest in photography.

Like other Clickers he was impressed with the Family of Man, and then worked his way back through other prominent documentary photography. He was particularly impressed with the 'research first' approach proposed by Roy Stryker for the FSA, and sought to emulate it in his own work.

Blessed with an organisational bent, he undertook a MBA in the mid 1960s afterwards working in a managerial capacity in the scientific field. He thus provided a sense of structure to anchor John Crook's visionary zeal.

It was Brown who took the time to promote the group's cause, creating a network of supporters in galleries, archives, and academia.

It was also Brown who, after the group had wound down in the mid 1960s, continued to push the case for 'purposeful photography'.

His efforts were important in the creation of the Photographic Department at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in 1966.

Albert Brown facilitated through his personal connections with John Szarkowski, for the Museum of Modern Arts' photography exhibition, The Photographer's Eye, to be the first exhibition to be staged by the new photography department of the NGV.



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