Sunday, July 5, 2020

When was the earliest Maori photographic portrait taken?

Originally the earliest Maori photographic portrait was thought to be that of Caroline and Sarah Barrett taken ca. 1853.Ref: A71.462.

A recent finding has now revealed an earlier portrait - that of Hemi Pomara taken in 1846 by Antoine Claudet. The hand tinted daguerreotype portrait of Hemi was taken in London (Hemi was taken to Britain in the 1840s). This portrait is in the National Library of Australia's collection and was identified by Elisa deCourcy and Martyn Jolly as part of their research for their forthcoming publication Empire, Early Photography and Spectacle: the global career of showman daguerreotypist J.W. Newland (Routledge, November 2020). See their article in the Conversation

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