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German-born British portrait, travel, and topographic photographer, E. O. Hoppé was active between 1907 and 1945. 'At the height of his career, Hoppé brought his discerning eye and evolving style to Australia. Commissioned to photograph the country by the German publisher Wasmuth, Hoppé was intent on making a book that captured the spirit of Australia.
Soon after landing in Sydney Hoppé's friendship with Charles Lloyd-Jones [q.v.] led to an exhibition in 1930 at Sydney's David Jones department store. Hoppé's photographs caused a sensation in Australian photographic circles and his dynamic vision, especially his industrial imagery, resonated with many Australian photographers including Harold Cazneaux, Wolfgang Sievers, Max Dupain, and David Moore, uncovering a previously unknown vein of influence that enriched Australian photographic art.
Arriving in Sydney early in 1930, Hoppé witnessed the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which juts iconically into many of his Modernist views of the emerging city. Enthralled by the country and its people, he travelled for the best part of a year, tirelessly capturing images of life in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, and Canberra, along with the people and places of Australia's remote interior.
Hoppé's work represents the earliest comprehensive portrait of Australia made by one photographer. His distinctive views range from the newly-built Parliament House in Canberra to Central Australian aboriginal ceremonies. His images of Coober Pedy opal miners, Kauri forest lumberjacks, and Aborigines from Palm Island to Hermannsburg demonstrate how Australia was defined by its multicultural people and their work in both cities and the Outback.'
(Source: Graham Howe, 'Emil Otto Hoppé's Australia: A Photographers Epic Work'. ArtsHub 11 May 2007)