A new photo from the Powerhouse Museum every day
Continuing with the boxing theme, this photograph, from the Jandaschewsky collection, shows Guillaume Jandaschewsky and Orlando ‘Averino’, part of the Do-Re-Mi trio, performing their boxing clown act with bells. During this act, two clowns would box, each blow producing a different noise. The act has been copied by numerous other Australian clown troupes since then. The Do-Re-Mi clowns differed from many other clown acts because they dressed and made up identically and, rather than relying on conflicts and interactions between different types of clowns, used props and musical instruments for comedic effect.
This photograph was produced by Talma studios in Melbourne. Talma, established in 1895, was one of a number of studios in Sydney and Melbourne whose success was dependent upon the commercial portrait trade. The studio was run by Andrew Barrie with Sir Henry Weedon, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, as his partner. Talma studios produced thousands of theatrical portraits in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, catering to a growing demand for photographs of performers, royalty and other celebrities. The performance elements of a theatrical production could be more easily staged in a studio than captured live and the portability of photographs and made them popular as both gifts and mementoes.
Circus! The Jandaschewsky Story, Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1995.
Anne-Marie Willis, Picturing Australia: a history of photography, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1988
Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photography by Talma Studios
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