Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Shadow dance

February 1st, 2013 by

94/63/1-8/14 Glass negative, half plate, unidentified dance band, Tom Lennon, Sydney, Australia, 1930s

This photograph from the Tom Lennon photographic archive collection shows an unidentified dance band. It was taken some time in the 1930s.

Lennon’s creative approach to lighting in this shot adds style and atmosphere. The shadows on the wall appear to form a sort of crowd, giving the impression of a nightclub or party in the background. The shadow as a compositional element was an important part of the modernist aesthetic in photography. Shadows figured srongly in the work of other  photographers working at this time. In the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales works by Max Dupain, Olive Cotton and Harold Cazneaux show extensive use of the shadow as a compositional device.

Tom T. Lennon, was a commercial photographer whose studio was at 64 Victoria Road, Drummoyne. The 1796 negatives in the Powerhouse Museum Tom Lennon archive are largely of balls and dinners held in Sydney, but also include weddings, funerals, work events, parties, portraits, pets, fashion, horse races, and various places and events. At the time that this photograph was taken, Tom Lennon was the official photographer for Australian Dance Band News. Other images from the Tom Lennon archive have been posted previously on Photo of the Day.

Post by Kathy Hackett

Photo Librarian



Photography by Tom Lennon

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