The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

March 30, 2017

March 30, 1878

The model for this adorable if multivalent photograph was a 9 year old
Joan Cazneaux. The title is "Waiting for the Fairies" and it is dated to 1925. Her father took the picture; her grandfather was also a photographer, and the link between England and this Australian family.

Her father 
Henry Pierce Cazneaux (March 30 1878 to June 19, 1953) was noted for the diversity of his subject matter, according to the Australian Dictionary of Biography summary of his significance:

Harold Pierce Cazneaux... was born Wellington, New Zealand, son of Pierce Mott Cazneaux, an English-born photographer, and his wife Emily Florence, née Bentley, a colourist and miniature painter from Sydney. In the 1890s the family moved to Adelaide and ....Harold went to a local state school; he started to work in his father's studio and attended H. P. Gill's evening classes at the School of Design, Painting and Technical Arts. As a young man his passion for photography as an art was aroused by an exhibition of new 'pictorial movement' photographs from England.

Cazneaux moved to Sydney in 1904 and worked in
[another]... studio, becoming manager and chief operator. On 1 September 1905 at Lewisham he married Mabel Winifred Hodge. In his leisure time he began to document old Sydney. In 1907 he showed photographs at the members' exhibition of the Photographic Society of New South Wales and two years later held the first one-man exhibition in Australia: the critics praised the diversity of his work. He sent some of his pictures overseas and was recognized as a pioneer of the pictorial movement. In 1916 with five friends, he founded the amateur Sydney Camera Circle. Opposed to slavish imitation of overseas trends, he argued for a break with the typical low-toned British print in favour of 'truly Australian sunshine effects'.

In 1914 Cazneaux won Kodak's 'Happy Moments' contest and used the £100 as a deposit for a house in Roseville where he lived and from 1920 worked for the rest of his life. ...
[Still he was frustrated] and in poor health, [before] he... was rescued from penury by S. Ure Smith, who gave him regular work for his new publications the Home and Art in Australia. His frontispiece photograph for the first issue of the Home in 1920 used sunshine effects so successfully that it sparked a new trend in local photography. 'Caz' benefited greatly from the publicity. A member of the London Salon of Photography, he exhibited there from at least 1911 and in 1924, with other members of the camera circle, opened the short-lived Australian Salon with a hanging of 170 pictures.

Cazneaux's stature is based on the extraordinary diversity of his work—landscapes and portraits. He produced a series of portraits of well-known artists, musicians, and actors and many books including
Canberra, Australia's Federal Capital (1928), Sydney Surfing (1929), The Bridge Book (1930), The Sydney Book (1931), Frensham Book (1934), and the jubilee number of the B.H.P. Review (1935). As a critic he wrote for the Australasian Photographic Review and the Gallery Gazette, London, and columns for the Lone Hand and Sydney Mail. Sometime president of the Photographic Society of New South Wales, he was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1937.

Survived by his wife and five daughters, who all helped in his studio, Cazneaux died at his Roseville home ....and was cremated with Anglican rites. His only son ...[had been] killed at the siege of Tobruk, North Africa, in 1941.

An example of the diversity in Cazneaux's work is this photograph, "The Ship's Cat", from circa 1912. Sydney is the background.

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