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Julian Smith

1873 – 1947

Julian Smith, surgeon and photographer, came to Australia with his family from England at the age of three. He was educated in Adelaide. Here, future Nobel laureate Sir William Bragg tried to persuade him to take up a career in physics, but instead he entered the Medical School of the University of Adelaide. He finished his degree, at the top of his year, in Melbourne in 1899. After a time at Melbourne Hospital he went into general practice, working for a while at St Mary's Hospital London before returning to St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. He remained on that hospital's surgical teaching staff until 1929, when he became a consulting surgeon. Meanwhile, he established himself as a surgeon in Collins Street. An active member of the British Medical Association between 1901 and 1936, in 1927 he became a foundation fellow of the Australasian College of Surgeons. Smith was particularly interested in diseases of the urinary tract, but during the war he made several advances in the sphere of blood transfusion. He took up photography late in life, exhibiting locally and overseas, becoming an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and gaining renown for his distinctive portraits.

The National Portrait Gallery holds forty-nine of Smith's Fifty Masterpieces of Photography in its study collection.

Updated 2018