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Sir George Ferguson Bowen, c. 1873

Bardwell's Royal Studio

carte de visite photograph (support: 10.5 cm x 6.4 cm, image: 9.2 cm x 5.8 cm)

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Photographer William Bardwell worked in Ballarat from 1858 until 1895. Initially in partnership with Saul Solomon, he specialised in portraits and views, examples of which were exhibited in the Geelong Industrial Exhibition in 1862 and the 1863 Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute Exhibition. In 1866, Bardwell established the Royal Photographic Studio independently of Solomon, one newspaper announcing that the new studio was ‘in every way replete with suitable accommodation … and rooms are provided for both ladies and gentlemen.’ Bardwell took advantage of his studio’s close proximity to the Theatre Royal, producing photographs for visiting theatre groups and opera companies and for those on the variety and sideshow circuits. Boasting the ‘best appointed Studio in the colonies’, Bardwell also provided portraits for prominent citizens and from 1868, having presented a set of views of Ballarat to Prince Alfred, advertised himself as photographer ‘By Special Appointment to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.’ Bardwell went into partnership with John Beauchamp for some part of 1878 before relocating to Melbourne later that year. Bardwell’s Royal Studios at Ballarat remained active, however, throughout the 1880s under the management of a Mr Williams.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Graham Smith 2009

Accession number: 2009.78

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Bardwell's Royal Studio

Sir George Ferguson Bowen GCMG (age 52 in 1873)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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