Kew achieved independence from the Boroondara Roads Board in 1860. As a new municipality, its first three leaders were designated as chairmen. On becoming a borough in 1863, its leaders were identified as mayors. The earliest photographs date from ca.1906, when the Town of Kew commissioned the noted local photographer Josiah E Barnes to produce standardised portraits of former mayors to be displayed in the Mayoral Chamber of the Town Hall. The collection also includes photographs by other well-known photographic studios such as Burlington Studios, Melba – Melbourne, Stuart Tompkins, Spencer Shier and Talma & Co. The majority of mounts identify the photographer. Eighty photographs are housed in their original frames.
This portrait is one of a series of mounted and framed photographic portraits of mayors and town clerks of the former Borough, Town and City of Kew. The portraits were transferred by the City of Kew to the Kew Historical Society in March 1989. A Significance Assessment in 2018, funded by the National Library of Australia confirmed the historic, and often artistic significance of the series.
Framed portrait of Cr. J.R. Mathers, Mayor of Kew 1930-1. The mounting and framing of the photograph follows a typical layout or style in that each is framed in dark wood, glazed, and laid down on an inscribed board. The inscription identifies the name of the mayor and the year/s that he/she served.
Inscriptions & markings
[Inscription] "J.R. Mathers / Mayor 1930-1"