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Max Dupain

1911 - 1992

Photographer Max Spencer Dupain (1911-1992) was born in Ashfield, Sydney to Ena and George Dupain. His interest in photography began at a young age and he joined the NSW Photographic Society in 1929 where he met respected photographer Harold Cazneaux. In 1930 Dupain began a three-year apprenticeship with Sydney based photographer Cecil Bostock where he gained vaulable skills and experience. During this time Dupain also attended Julian Ashton's Art School and developed an interest in modernist photography.

Dupain's work was influenced by many elements including vitalism doctrine, the works of DH Lawrence, Norman Lindsay and Laurence Le Guay. Dupain was drawn to the sea, the beach and the bodies that occupied thsoe landscapes.

During the period of the 1930s to the 1960s portraiture became the focus of Dupain's work, both professionally and personally.

During the Second World War Dupain moved more into documentary photography and in 1946 was commissioned by the Department of Information as part of a campaign to increase migration to Australia.

Dupain's later career is characterised by his images of industry and architecture and he was considered the premier photographer of architecture in Australia. In 1982 Dupain was honoured with an OBE and in 1983 a life membership with the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

In 1939 Max Dupain married photographer Olive Cotton, and they divorced a year later. He married Diana Illingworth a decade later and the couple had two children, Danina and Rex, also a photographer.

Max Dupain died in 1992 at the age of 81.