Museum of Brisbane

Captured: Early Brisbane photographers and their Aboriginal subjects

  • 14 Mar 2014 — 22 Jun 2014
  • Exhibition now closed



Captured, curated by Michael Aird, presents a vast collection of photographs amassed through 20 years of passionate research.




Staged photographs of Aborigines against elaborate backdrops were taken in Brisbane’s first photography studios from the late 1860s. Often treasured for their exotic beauty and foreign savagery by European settlers at the time, the photographs quickly became collectors’ items and many originals still exist in public and private collections across the world today.

In Captured 46 original carte des visites and more than 170 reproductions offer an intriguing insight into the Brisbane Aboriginal community from 1860 to 1890. They document an important time in the social history of our city and exchanges between European settlers and Aboriginal people.

This exhibition centres on the work of four early Brisbane photographers – John Watson, William Knight, Thomas Bevan and Daniel Marquis – and includes a life-size studio space allowing visitors to see and imagine those who came to have their image captured.

Captured is part of Document, an ongoing series of exhibitions that uncover how artists, photographers and observers view and record Brisbane’s landscape, history and culture.