Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Making a ceramic roof tile

February 13th, 2013 by


This photograph by Hedda Morrison shows a close up view of the hands of an artisan who is making a stylised animal head shaped ornamental roof tile. Glazed ornamental ceramic roof tiles carried auspicious meaning and were placed along the corners of a roof. Hedda Morrison spent a lot of time photographing craft workshops in Peking. This is one of a number of photographs that she took at this ceramic roof tile workshop.

Photographer Hedda Morrison, (1908-1991), was born Hedda Hammer in Stuttgart, Germany. She acquired her first camera, a Box Brownie, at the age of 11. In 1931, after completing studies at the State Institute for Photography in Munich and working in the studio of photographer Adolf Lazi (1884-1955), she answered an advertisement in a photography journal for a job in Peking.

In Peking Morrison managed Hartung’s photographic studio from 1933-1938. After her contract expired she continued to work freelance from a small darkroom in her home in Nanchang Street. The young photographer travelled around the city, usually by bicycle, often photographing its inhabitants. This photograph, is part of the Hedda Morrison Photographic Collection

Photography by Hedda Morrison
Powerhouse Museum Collection 92/1414-289

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