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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.

Norman C Deck, c. 1905

Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (mount: 30.7 cm x 18.9 cm, image: 14.7 cm x 10.8 cm)

Norman C Deck (1882–1980), photographer and dentist, joined the Photographic Society of New South Wales at the age of about fourteen, becoming its youngest-ever member. He began exhibiting in his early twenties, and began lecturing at the Society around the same time; in 1905 he won a gold medal at its annual Salon. Having graduated in dentistry, Deck practised in Cowra and then Sydney before taking up missionary work on the Solomon Islands in 1914; he remained there until 1948, taking many photographs, prints of many of which were lost. Meanwhile, in 1921, he was made an honorary member of the Sydney Camera Circle. After he retired and returned to Sydney, he reprinted his negatives, but used different materials. Deck’s negatives are in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Australia has forty-five of his prints, with titles including ‘Those Stupendous Heights’, ‘Burbling Brook’ and ‘Lad with Coconuts’. In Cazneaux’s portrait, Deck is poring over a special 1905 issue of Studio magazine entitled Art in Photography.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

Accession number: 2010.96

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 27 in 1905)

Norman C. Deck (age 23 in 1905)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

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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.