Uncategorised (5)

Sunday, 29 March 2020 11:42

Digitising the Falk Album

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The Falk Album

The Falk Album contains over 1600 albumen prints of predominately theatrical sitters taken during the 1890s by H. Walter Barnett’s Falk Studios in Sydney. The album includes portraits of some 170 sitters, photographed in both casual dress and/or costume. Significant personalities include Sarah Bernhardt [10] [11] [12], Robert Louis Stevenson [131] [132] and J.C. Williamson [161] [162] [163] [176], as well as members of the London Gaiety Company and the Brough and Boucicault Comedy Company. Many of the performers were brought to Australia by J.C. Williamson Ltd, such as Mrs Brown Potter and Kyrle Bellew, Olga Nethersole and Charles Cartwright, along with noted proponents of ballet and comic opera and pantomime.

 

 

Description

The leather and fabric covered album measures 49 cm (high) x 35 cm (wide) x 7cm (deep). It contains 187 pages (not including covers) of which 172 are photographs by the Falk Studios and 15 are items added by J.W. Hazlitt. The pages of Falk photographs typically comprise a grid of 9 images per sheet. These images are 10.8 cm x 16.5 cm cabinet size prints. While the majority of the prints are in very good condition, a small number have been defaced and some images removed. The pages are broadly arranged in alphabetical order by surname of the sitter, and many of the pages are numbered. Some of the pages in the sequence appear to have been removed, some completely, while others have been re-inserted in the wrong place.

Provenance

It is not clear who assembled the original album. It may have been compiled by a collector or by the Falk Studios themselves for perusal and selection by the public. What is certain, is that by the 1910s, the album was in the hands of J.W. Hazlitt, a manager for J.C. Williamson Ltd in Sydney associated with the Royal, Criterion and Her Majesty’s theatres. Hazlitt was responsible for adding in the portrait of Oscar Asche on page 2, the silk programme on page 3, and the numerous signed photographs, many addressed to him, found on pages 176 to 188.

After Hazlitt’s death in 1943, it may be surmised that the album was entrusted to Frank Tait, the Melbourne-based general manager of JCW, as Frank S. [Samuel] Tait’s name is written in blue pencil on a label on the front cover along with the inscription (in gold): Theatrical and other Celebrities of Bygone Days. It is possible that the album remained with J.C. Williamson Ltd until the 1970s when the company was disbanded.

In 2014, the album was acquired by the current owner, having been gifted to him by a friend. This friend had in turn been gifted the album in the 1970s by an acquaintance who had rooms in a big old Edwardian house in Mary Street, St Kilda. It is not known if the album was found in the house or if he acquired it somehow while living in St Kilda.

This album is a rare survivor, not only as a record of the work of H. Walter Barnett’s Falk Studios, but for illustrating the vibrancy of the Australian theatre scene during the 1890s. Though the work of the Falk Studios is well represented in Australian collections, many of the images in this album will not be familiar.

The album has clearly been through many hands. Fortunately for us, its various custodians have recognised its value and it has been preserved. It is through the generosity of its current owner that Theatre Heritage Australia has been given the opportunity to make it available, through digitisation, to a wider audience. We hope to be able to discover more about the origins of the album and to explore the stories of the sitters within its pages.

View the Falk Album 

 

Full list of sitters

Falk Studios

Saturday, 13 July 2019 11:27

Viola Tait e-book Download

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Free download – I Have a Song to Sing by Viola Tait

DOWNLOAD THE E-BOOK

The e-book is available in a variety of formats – download your preferred format by clicking on the links below:

I Have a Song to Sing (pdf) (12MB)

I Have a Song to Sing (epub) (18MB)

I Have a Song to Sing (mobi) (41MB)

Please note: the .epub and .mobi versions of this e-book use a fixed-layout format to preserve the page layout of the printed book. Not all e-reader programs (in particular some older e-readers) can read this format. To read these e-books, you will need to use a compatible reader.

Examples of free fixed-layout EPUB readers include:

  • iBooks for iOS and OS X. This is free in the Apple App Store.
  • Google Play Books for Android. This is a free app in the Google Play store.
  • Readium for Chrome. This is a Chrome browser extension, available free in the Chrome Market.

 

This publication is made available as a FREE download. If you would like to support the work of Theatre Heritage Australia, please consider making a donation.

Click here for more information about donating to THA

Friday, 12 July 2019 08:30

Donate to Theatre Heritage Australia

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Theatre Heritage Australia Inc is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation established in 1995 (originally known as the Victorian Theatres Trust) to promote greater understanding of Australia's rich theatre history. We reguarly publish original research, undertake digitisation projects and produce a series of free events throughout the year.

Please consider supporting the ongoing work of THA by making a donation* to:

Theatre Heritage Australia Inc

Cheques can be mailed to:
29 Northumberland Street
Collingwood, Vic 3066

 

You can read out more about our Purposes and Rules here

 

Theatre Heritage Australia Inc
CAV Association No. A0052375A
ABN 94 873 005 034

 

* Please note – donations to THA are NOT currently tax deductible

 

Tuesday, 04 October 2016 06:44

Digital Galleries

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Theatre Heritage Australia maintains an ever increasing collection of digital assets including rare books, archival images and audio.

Audio

Audio

THA maintains a growing collection of audio files, including archival recordings and interviews.

Books

Books

THA has digitised a number of important books, pamphlets & programs, now out of copyright

JCW Scene Books

JCW Scene Books

Digitized Scene Books from the JC Williamson collection held by Scenic Studios, Preston.

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook

Theatrical and musical items including engravings, photographs, newspaper cuttings, and entrance tickets.

Photo galleries

Photo galleries

The THA has a digital collection of rare production photographs, many from the JC Williamson era.

Digitizing the JC Williamson Scene Books

Between 2014–2016, THA undertook a program of digitization of Scene Books from the JC Williamson collection held by Scenic Studios, Preston. The collection comprises thousands of images of JCW sets, backdrops, scenic details, lighting rigs etc. stretching back to the end of the nineteenth century.

The collection comprises 10 digitized volumes and is now available to view online.

View the collection

Riley/Hailes Scrapbook

The Riley/Hailes Scrapbook

The Riley/Hailes Scrapbook

The John Riley/Fred Hailes Scrapbook contains theatrical and musical items including engravings, photographs, newspaper cuttings, and entrance tickets. The scrapbook was compiled between the 1830s and 1917 by at least two people, circus performer John Riley (c.1819-1911), and journalist Fred Hailes (c.1852-1917). The ‘scraps’ are pasted on 309 pages of an international trade book.

View the scrapbook

Melbourne Theatres

Early production photos

My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Melbourne c.1959

The Chalk Garden

The Chalk Garden

Trial by Jury

Trial by Jury

Pirates of Penzance

Pirates of Penzance

The Pajama Game

The Pajama Game

Yeomen of the Guard

Yeomen of the Guard

The Mikado

The Mikado

c.1958

The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers

Iolanthe

Iolanthe