Life before selfies – get ready to feel some serious nostalgia pangs at Sit. Pose. Snap.
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that we are living in the age of the selfie. It’s easy to forget that back in the day you couldn’t just snap a photo of your mug at any given time – portraits took time, thought and a lot more care than the mere click of a button. Sit. Pose. Snap. is an exhibition taking over the Museum of Brisbane from Friday March 24 to give us an inside look at the history of portrait photography in Brisbane, from haunting studio sessions to kitschy candid captures.
Sit. Pose. Snap. isn’t just about some pretty photographs – we’re talking 100 years of visual history specific to our very own city here. This extensive exhibition specifically chronicles the period between 1850 and 1950, from the dawn of Brisbane’s first formal photographic studios to the mid-20th century images you’d be used to seeing in your parents’ photo albums. The exhibit draws upon the amazing private collection of Marcel Safier – a Brisbane GP who also happens to be one of Australia’s most significant collectors of portrait photography – to showcase the exploration of identity that is so intrinsically linked with portraits.
The opening weekend of Sit. Pose. Snap is bringing with it some cool activities to help crowds get into the vintage vibe. If you want to take it to the next level, Saturday provides the perfect chance – history lovers are encouraged to don their finest vintage threads, and as a reward will be treated to a sneak peek of the exhibit plus a portrait snapped by a pro. Punters can also check out free tours happening on the Saturday and Sunday with Marcel and curator Phillip Manning, who will guide you through the exhibition and offer up some cool local history tidbits.
If you’re keen to take a look at life from behind the lens, you can catch the free exhibition Sit. Pose. Snap at the Museum of Brisbane from Friday March 24 until it closes on Sunday July 30.
Wedding party / Trissie Deazeley / Studio Silver / gelatin photograph, c1925 / Courtesy of Marcel Safier Collection
Girl in ballet shoes, with pigeons / Elite Photo Co, Eddie Hutchison Cabinet / photograph, 1884-1891 / Courtesy of Marcel Safier Collection
Jane and Thomas Mathewson / Regent Studios, Thomas Mathewson / Card-mounted sepia-toned silver gelatin photograph, 1920s / Courtesy of Marcel Safier Collection
Three children / Albert Lomer & Co / Cabinet photograph, c1885 / Courtesy of Marcel Safier Collection