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10 August 2019 - 8 March 2020

Ballarat has a rich history of photography. By the early 1890s, the city boasted over a dozen photographic studios capturing the city’s landscape, events and people.

The Gold Museum’s photographic collection represents a variety of photographic studios which operated in Ballarat from the 1870s onwards. State-of-the-art studios sprang up across the city centre, and photography was embraced immediately by Ballarat locals who flocked to have their portraits taken. Each image represented their aspirations and status within the community, as well as a desire to capture a special moment for posterity.

While some portraits feature prominent Ballarat figures whose stories are etched in local history, other people are less well known. This new photography craze was for everybody.

Many of the portraits came into the collection with little information about their subjects, but are still significant for the stories they tell about Ballarat society including popular tastes, fashion choices, and the development of photographic technology.

Pose captures the people of Ballarat through the lens of its talented studio photographers.