Oct 5, 2008

Early Canterbury Photographers

A previously unattributed Christchurch photographic portrait, circa 1905, quite prboably by Mrs Nellie Alexandra Hemus, but possibly by her husband James William Hemus, whose Sarony Art Studios were situated in the Oram's Buildings at the south-east corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets.

There were also Sarony Studios at Auckland, Wellington and Melbourne and they would appear to have been franchises of Napoléon Sarony (1821-1896) who, in the second half of the 19th century, succeeded Matthew Brady as America's best-known portrait photographer.

The work of James and Nellie Hemus and their Sarony Studios, which was still active in 1952,  is recorded in Anthony Rackstraw's comprehensive Early Canterbury Photographers web site. The site also includes a significant collection of Cartes de Visite portraits of our early settlers and is well worth a visit.

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