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Photographic exhibition captures a different time

10 JULY 2008

The National Museum of Australia will showcase a large selection of never before seen images in a free photographic exhibition, A Different Time: The Expedition Photographs of Herbert Basedow 1903 -1928, from 11 July to 12 October 2008.

"A qualified medical doctor, Herbert Basedow pursued many fields of scientific knowledge, including geology, zoology and anthropology, an area of study in its infancy at the time. Basedow could be described as Australia's first 'home-grown' professional anthropologist," said David Kaus, Senior Curator at the National Museum of Australia.

The majority of the photographs presented in A Different Time: The Expedition Photographs of Herbert Basedow 1903-1928 are on display for the first time. The National Museum of Australia's photography team has spent several months digitising Basedow's negatives and glass lantern slides to give visitors the rare opportunity to experience this important Australian story.

Like many travellers, Herbert Basedow used photography to document his expeditions. While Basedow took photographs of landscapes and rock formations he also captured early twentieth century Aboriginal life in some very remote areas of Australia. Basedow took photographs and collected artefacts on 12 major geological, exploratory and medical relief expeditions and a number of smaller trips into central and northern Australia between 1903 and 1928.

The photographs in the exhibition are drawn from the National Museum's Basedow collection. In 1934, the year after Basedow's death, the Commonwealth Government purchased the collection, which also included some of his expedition notes and artefacts. The collection was held by the Australian Institute of Anatomy until the Institute closed in the mid-1980s. The Institute's collection of Basedow's photographs was transferred to the National Museum of Australia.

A Different Time: The Expedition Photographs of Herbert Basedow 1903 -1928 coincides with another photographic exhibition at the National Museum of Australia, Selling an American Dream: Australia's Greek Café which is on display until 16 November. Both exhibitions are part of the Vivid National Photography Festival.

The exhibition will be on display at the National Museum of Australia from 11 July until 12 October 2008. For more information about A Different Time: The Expedition Photographs of Herbert Basedow 1902-1928 visit www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions

For interviews, images and more information please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au