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Revelations on Lindt

The Lindt print at Schaeffer House.
The Lindt print at Schaeffer House.

During the 1870s, Lindt photographed the people of the Clarence Valley.

Among his subjects were people from the Bundjalung nation and Grafton Regional Art Gallery is trying to find the descendents of the men and women photographed.

Art history expert at the University of NSW, Doctor Nicola Teffer, is interested in the project and has visited the Jacaranda City.

One of the places she visited was Schaeffer House, which has a full set of Lindt prints in their original album.

Clarence River Historical Society president Frank Mack showed Dr Teffer and her sister through the photos.

After viewing the album, he pulled out another folder containing carte-de-visites.

These playing-card-sized photos were left as calling cards by ladies in the 1870s.

As they looked at the photos, Dr Teffer's sister noticed differences between the photos in the album and the carte-de-visites. Can you pick them out in the photos above?

What they realised was that the carte-de-visites were not reproductions, but original, never-before-seen examples of Lindt's photography.

Dr Teffer noticed something else of interest.

The Lindt print at Schaeffer House.
The Lindt print at Schaeffer House.

"In the large print, the men stand in front of a makeshift bark humpy, which has various items of clothing slung over it - some trousers and a hat," Dr Teffer said.

"Many of Lindt's images have these curious remnants of clothing in them, and it's always been a bit of a mystery as to why they were left in.

"Was he trying to indicate that the people he was photographing were the owners of the clothes, which had been removed for the staged photographs and which would be put back on?

"Clearly Lindt was planning his photos to include the clothing, which is a curious addition when you consider that the point of the photos was to reconstruct an image of Aboriginal life prior to white settlement."



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