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Francis Reiss

1927 – 2017

Francis Reiss (1917-2017), portrait photographer and photojournalist, was born in Hamburg and educated in Germany, England and the USA before joining London's Picture Post as a staff photographer. Turning freelance, he worked for LIFE, Time and the PIX picture agency in New York before a spell in his family's textile business in the UK, and managerial positions in various businesses in Malta, the UK and Pakistan. For seven years he operated a country hotel in England. He emigrated to Australia in 1984, becoming an Australian citizen in 1989. Based in Melbourne, he taught at Brighton Technical School, the Northern College of TAFE and the University of Melbourne. Over the 1990s he recorded Aboriginal skeletal remains for the Victorian Archaeological Survey; made 44 portraits of eminent Victorians for the State Library of Victoria; and took photographs of aspects of Australian life for the National Library, some 230 of which were acquired for the collection. Reiss's photographs are also held by the Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Mitchell Library, the Jewish Museum in Melbourne and private collections.

Updated 2018