Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) are pleased to present an exhibition examining Vincent’s Photographic Studio and its influence on the lives of people in the Dubbo region. The exhibition features many people and places, and now the community is being asked to help identify some of the people in the images, which are on display at the WPCC.

True to Life Likeness: A history of Vincent’s Studio, Dubbo, tells the story of the development of photography, the rise of commercial photographic studios and the history of Arthur J. Vincent and his son Jack, whose studio was responsible for documenting the lives and significant events of the community of Dubbo and region. Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Ben Shields, says the exhibition is an insight into how the community operated in the mid to late 1900s.

“The studio captured the community as it worked and played. The exhibition features some of the region’s most significant photographs, including the first use of flash photography in Dubbo. It really is very interesting stuff,” said Councillor Shields.

The exhibition is a collaboration between WPCC and Dubbo & District Family History Society (DDFHS), which in 1995 was gifted the rapidly deteriorating archive of Vincent’s Studio. Working solidly for more than 20 years, the volunteers at DDFHS collated, cleaned, and catalogued approximately 13,000 photographic negatives, making them accessible to the community. Whilst the Studio operated from the early 1900s, the archive only comprises material from the early 1940s until the early 1980s.

“I would like to thank the Dubbo and District Family History Society for their tireless work in preserving and restoring these pictures which capture the Dubbo region during a very unique period. There are pictures of residents who we don’t know, so we’d really love members of the public to help us out by letting us know if they recognise anyone,” said Councillor Shields.

The exhibition features vintage prints, objects and a selection of photographs of citizens of the region. Due to the difficulty of identifying many of the people who appear in the images, a photo wall has been created, where visitors are encouraged to write the names of people they may recognise, on the backs of the photos. Additionally, the backdrop that appears in the photos has been recreated, enabling visitors to take their own Vincent-style portrait within the exhibition.

This collection of images are now searchable through the DDFHS, who work passionately to research and investigate the history of our region and the many families who have made this region what it is today. True to Life Likeness: A history of Vincent’s Studio, Dubbo is as much a celebration and acknowledgement of the work of DDFHS, without whom this remarkable collection would have been lost.

Image caption: J. E. Vincent, Vincent's Studio, Wheeler family, 1952, digital scan of original B&W negative, collection Dubbo & District Family History Society.”

True to Life Likeness - Vincent Studios

Last Edited: 03 Nov 2020

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