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

by Lewis Morley

gelatin silver photograph (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