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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Last Picture Show (Lewis Morley and Henry Talbot), 1999

Lewis Morley

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.3 cm x 30.4 cm, image: 17.6 cm x 27.5 cm)

Henry Fox Talbot (1920-1999), photographer, was born Henry Tichauer. The son of a middle-class Jewish family, he changed his name after fleeing Germany and being 'volunteered' out of England on the Dunera. Arriving in Australia, he was interned at Hay amongst the group known as the 'Dunera boys'. On release he went fruit picking near Tocumwal, where he met a German photographer, Helmut Neustadter, who was to become famous as Helmut Newton. The two men set up a photographic studio in Melbourne, which Newton left to pursue international fame in 1963. In 1974 Talbot curtailed his innovative fashion photography practice and began teaching. He moved to Sydney in 1985, meeting Morley soon after. This photograph was taken in Longueville Private Hospital, where Talbot was dying of cancer. Using a half-frame camera, Morley took a photo of Talbot. Talbot requested the camera and took a half-frame shot of Morley. Thus, later, in his darkroom, Morley developed the last photo by - and the last photo of - his friend.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2003.64

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Lewis Morley (age 74 in 1999)

Henry Talbot (age 79 in 1999)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Lewis Morley (49 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage

Myself and Eye

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

Magda Keaney speaks with Lewis Morley about his photographic career and the major retrospective of his work on display at the NPG.

The Last Picture Show (Lewis Morley and Henry Talbot), 1999 Lewis Morley
The Last Picture Show (Lewis Morley and Henry Talbot), 1999 Lewis Morley
The Last Picture Show (Lewis Morley and Henry Talbot), 1999 Lewis Morley
The Last Picture Show (Lewis Morley and Henry Talbot), 1999 Lewis Morley

Reveries

Photography and mortality

Previous exhibition, 2007

Featuring works by Australian and New Zealand photographers from the late 1970s up to the present day Reveries focuses on images made in the presence of or consciousness of death.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.