Photographic print, black and white, paper / cardboard, Bruno Benini and Janice Wakely modelling, photograph by Gerd Rosskamp, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1957
This object belongs to a group of photographs relating to Bruno Benini and Gerd Rosskamp. After Bruno Benini returned from Europe in 1958, he shared a studio with German-born fashion photographer Gerd Rosskamp. This selection of photographs and the Benini & Rosskamp business card document their close association as photographers and the close friendships and working relationships they shared with leading Australian models.
Rosskamp helped Benini develop his photographic skills. Benini returned the favour by posing as a male model in Rosskamp's fashion and advertising shots.
A handsome young Benini can be seen posing alongside models Wendy Martin and Janice Wakely in a series of three photographs which form an impressive photographic triptych - Bruno Benini and Wendy Martin; Wendy Martin, Bruno Benini and Janice Wakely; and Bruno Benini and Janice Wakely. Benini, Wakely and Martin all met up together again in London in the second half of 1958. Around this time Wakely, took up photography herself, initially by photographing the fashion photographers at work. She later shared a studio with Benini at 6 McKillop Street, Melbourne 1963-1966.
Another of the photographs shows Benini with Bambi Shmith who was then the wife of photographer Athol Shmith, while another shows Benini with his newly acquired Hasselblad camera.
Two shots by Janice Wakely show Benini and Rosskamp working together on location with an older style bellow camera.
Rosskamp's portrait of the model in the games centre is an iconic late 1950s Australian fashion photograph shot. It captures the model in an unexpected location.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator 2010
Photograph taken by Gerd Rosskamp in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1957.
From the personal archive of the photographer.
German-born fashion photographer Gerd Rosskamp (1928-2007) was a contemporary of émigré photographers Henry Talbot and Bruno Benini. He worked in Melbourne during the 1950s and 1970s, and Berlin during the 1960s and again from 1986 till his death in 2007. (A selection of Rosskamp's 1960s fashion shots are displayed in the Sixties Fashion exhibition at the Kunst Bibliothek Staatliche Museum, Berlin during 2010.
The Powerhouse Museum communicated with Rosskamp until shortly before his death in 2007. Research led the museum to his widow Mrs Gunda Rosskamp who has recently returned to Australia from Berlin, bringing her late husband's archive with her. Gunda feels strongly that her late husband would wish to see his Benini- related objects enter the Museum's collection where they will support the Benini exhibition and archive.
Gerd Rosskamp (b. Berlin 10.3.1928, arrived Australia 1952, d. Berlin 3.1.2007)
1952-1956 Worked with Wolfgang Sievers, Athol Shmith, Spencer Shier, Latrobe Studios
1958 Returned to Berlin
From September - studio with Bruno Benini, 28 Block Place, Melbourne
1959 Studio in Waratah Place, Melbourne.
1960-1961 Studio, Jolimont road, Melbourne
1961 Berlin (advertising and fashion)
1971 Studio 9, Collins Street, Melbourne
1975 Photography lecturer, Adelaide
1981 Commercial photography studio, Adelaide
1986 Returned to Berlin.