Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918. Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The 60 photographs that comprise the series were issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Physical description

Aboriginal Natives of Victoria hop gathering’ : Views of Victoria (General Series) No.50 : Albumen silver photograph | Photo on card with Title and Description on reverse | Mounted 24 x 30 cm; Photo 12 x 17 cm.

Inscriptions & markings

On Reverse: ‘The growth of Hops has of late years occupied the attention of farmers in most of the colonies, and with the most encouraging results. It has been introduced with considerable success on most of the Aboriginal Stations in Victoria. Our illustration represents a group of natives gathering Hops on the Station at Bairnsdale, in Gipps Land.’