Secondhand Rows 

Join Stephen Reid, our secondhand maestro, every month here as he takes a closer look at a couple of titles from his shelves.

July 2017

 - Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Dupain's Beaches by Jill White (with Matthew Cawood)

Introduction by Sebastian Smee. Chapter & Verse, Neutral Bay NSW, 2000. Square quarto hardcover; white boards with blue spine and lower front board titling, blue endpapers; 111pp., b&w plates. Minor wear. Very good in like white illustrated dustjacket. $75.00.  (update: sorry - now sold

With Winter now upon us, what better image to display than Max Dupain’s Sunbaker. ‘It was a simple affair. We were camping down the south coast and one of my friends leapt out of the surf and slammed down onto the beach to have a sunbake—marvellous. We made the image and it’s been around, I suppose as a sort of icon of the Australian way of life’. (Max Dupain interview, 1991). Taken on a summer’s day in 1937 when Dupain (1911–1992) was enjoying a beach holiday with friends at Culburra on the NSW South Coast. The sunbaker is Harold Salvage (1905–1991), an English migrant. First displayed in a retrospective exhibition in 1975, Sunbaker has become probably the single most widely recognised Australian photograph. ‘An unforgettable image, it spoke to a young 1970s audience as being all about Australia’, says Gael Newton, senior photography curator at the National Gallery of Australia. Compiled by Jill White, Dupain’s assistant and custodian of his vast photographic archive, this is a wonderful collection of some of Dupain’s best work. Taken at Bondi, Manly, Cronulla, Newport and various locations along the Central and South Coasts of NSW from the 1930s to the 1960s. Max Dupain loved the beach and with his Rolleiflex camera to hand, photographed its occupants and captured the play of sand patterns, rock formations, water, shadows and light. Some of my favourite photos in this volume are:
Ice-creams, Bondi – 1940s (p. 78); Boatsheds—1957 (p. 67); Handstand, south coast beach—1939 (p.53); Tathra, south coast NSW—1950 (p.58).