Back before there was internet or television, it was still photography and the geniuses who held the camera that delivered reality to the masses. Black and white images without any animation somehow told an entire story instantaneously. With intuition, courage and skill, photographers like Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake froze time and space forever and allowed us to look through their lens at remote worlds. The Australian National Maritime Museum is paying homage to these two respected photographers as well as a number of others who visually chronicled some of the most significant moments in history. 

Dorothea Lange was a pioneering American photographer whose images of worn faces and desperate expressions epitomised the Depression and World War II. Lange’s photo of a mother looking forlornly into the distance, child’s head on her shoulder while she clutches a baby has become the defining image of the Depression. 

Japanese born Toyo Miyatake migrated to the US with his family when he was 14 years old. Initially taking up photography as a means to an end, Miyatake soon developed a passion for it. When he was interned in a camp during World War II, he smuggled in items that allowed him to build a functioning camera and with it he documented life inside the camp. Miyatake was fortunate enough to cross paths, be mentored by and collaborate with some of the best photographers at the time including Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. 

This exhibition includes original photos by Lange and Miyatake as well as reproductions from Australian collections of the evocative work of Sam Hood, William Cranstone, Jim Fitzpatrick and Hedley Cullen who documented wartime industry, Japanese internment, family and country life on our side of the Pacific. 

On until Feb 16, 2020. 

For details visit: https://www.sea.museum/whats-on/exhibitions/capturing-the-home-front

Leave a Reply