Historical information

According to the Victorian Patents Office Copyright Collection (VPOCC) index, Barnes' image was first published on July 3, 1880. Many of the photographs taken by William Barnes concerned with the Kelly Gang were registered with the VPOCC which has ensured their survival in the State Library of Victoria today. Thus image includes the depiction of Sergeant Arthur Loftus Maule Steele (kneeling in front row) surrounded by seven other men. These men are identified as belonging to the Wangaratta police who played a key part in the destruction of the Kelly Gang at Glenrowan. These men could include Constables Causey, Montiford, Patrick Healey, Walsh, William Moore, Dixon and James Dwyer. It is also suggested that the individual standing back right (in the dark coat) is Constable Hugh Bracken, a key figure in the Glenrowan Siege. The police in this image display their firearms in a manner which reflects photographs of hunters, an element which was typical for this period.

Significance

This photograph is part of the Burke Museum "Kelly album" which includes a significant collection of photographs and artefacts connected to Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang. Ned Kelly and his gang have become ingrained in Australian popular culture and thus many museums, art galleries and private collections house material connected to the Kelly story which allows the events and people to be researched and interpreted. Artefacts and photographs pertaining to the Kelly gang are particularly valuable for Australian museums. This particular photograph is significant for its connection to Wangaratta photographer William Barnes who is responsible for having taken and registered many images depicting members of the Kelly gang. The photograph is also of artistic significance as an example of a photograph dating to 1880. This image depicts members of the Wangaratta police shortly after the defeat of the Kelly gang at Glenrowan. This photograph has the capacity to provide important information about the police who took part in Glenrowan 1880 and depicts key figures like Sergeant Steele.

Physical description

Sepia photograph taken by professional photographer William Edward Barnes (1941-1916) in June of 1880. The photo depicts a contingent of Wangaratta police who were at the capture of the Kelly gang at Glenrowan on the 28th of June 1880. This group of eight men are photographed standing in front of foliage and between the sides of two brick structures. Four men stand upright behind four other men who are depicted in either a sitting, semi-lying or kneeling position.

Inscriptions & markings

W.E.Barnes / photographer / Wangaratta / BMM8085 Police responsible / for Kelly's capture / (D.S. not there)