Frank Hurley at Manly Art Gallery & Museum

Frank Hurley: From Circular Quay to Collaroy Plateau.

Manly Museum and Art Gallery: 6 April — 14 October 2018

This exhibition casts new light on the life and work of Frank Hurley (1885–1962), revealing his early Sydney photographs, tourist postcards and studies of Australian wildflowers.

Much has been written about the photographer and explorer, Captain Frank Hurley OBE. He was Official Photographer with the A.I.F. in 1917–18 and again in the Middle East in 1940, when he was also made Film Director for the British Government.

He went five times to the South Pole, accompanying Sir Douglas iMawson’s Expedition of 1911–1914, Shackleton’s Expedition of 1914–1917, and holding the post of Official Photographer on two voyages of the Discovery in 1932–3 and 1934. Other activities include the making of motion pictures in Australia and travelling and exploring in Central Australia and New Guinea.

This exhibition, while acknowledging his more documented achievements, highlights both his standing as one of Australia’s important photographers as well as his largely unknown passion for Australian Native Plants.

In the years following WWII, Frank Hurley achieved an extraordinary output as an author, photographer and publisher.

During the years he lived on Collaroy Plateau he produced an amazing archive of photographs from both his work in and around Sydney as well from many excursions across most areas of Australia.




Frank Hurley’s photographs taken during this period were destined for books, pamphlets, postcards and calendars. There was no opportunity for Hurley’s photographs to be exhibited in an art gallery.

For this exhibition the curators produced digitally remastered files to bring to the public large format versions of a small number of Hurley’s photographs.

Co-Curators: Gael Newton & Paul Costigan

The curators acknowledge the support of Katherine Roberts of the Manly Art Gallery & Museum, the support of Frank Hurley’s descendants, the National Library of Australia for the files of the black & white photographs.

The photographs in the exhibition were printed with the expertise and support of Warren Macris of High Res Digital.

This exhibition is funded through the Theo Batten Bequest and is part of the 2018 Head On Photo Festival.

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