Figure 21. Detail from Centennial Photographic Company, Philadelphia International Exhibition, ‘Queensland Court, Philadelphia ’76, Evening Before Opening’, 1876.
Richard Daintree is well known as an Australian colonial photographer and geologist. I look at six international exhibitions he created from 1872 to 1879 that promoted the colony of Queensland by systematically integrating spectacular grids of painted photographs with displays of scientific samples. By analysing installation views, I argue that the popular success of these exhibitions came from the use of various new photographic technologies within the space of the exhibition, where the frontier directly interacted with the metropole. Further, I argue that Daintree’s personal passion for the science of geology profoundly structured the colonialist narrative of his exhibitions, which combined the latest apparatuses of scientific knowledge and imperial communication, revealing him to be an innovative and internationally significant creator of synthesised exhibitionary experiences.
Martyn Jolly (2020): Frontier and Metropole, Science and Colonisation: The Systematic Exhibitions of Richard Daintree, History of Photography Journal.