Sydney views 1788-1888: from the Beat Knoblauch collection installation view Photo © Jenni Carter for Sydney Living Museums

Sydney views 1788-1888

This fascinating exhibition documented the growth of Sydney from the tentative early views of the 1790s colonial settlement to the large, confident centenary panoramas celebrating the city as a metropolis.

Before the invention of photography, topographic views and panoramas were the main source of information about the progress of the new British outpost, its flora and fauna and Indigenous inhabitants.

Often distinguished by extraordinary detail, the views are both intriguing and impressive. They were like guidebooks for the armchair traveller, but they also had an important political role: to celebrate and visually promote the success of this far-flung colony.

The works were from the private collection of Beat Knoblauch. Private collections are by their very nature different from public collections, shaped by the personality, taste and motivation of the collector. A Swiss-born businessman living in Sydney since 1976, Beat spent most of his youth in Switzerland and Egypt. He attributes his background to driving his collecting pursuits and his interest in birthplaces and beginnings and a desire to learn more about the history of the city he has called home since his late 30s.

Visitors to the exhibition explored the modern city juxtaposed with the Sydney of the 1800's through two hands-on multimedia interactives. Featuring a series of sweeping panorama’s by accomplished city photographer Peter Murphy, one interactive allowed viewers to select vantage points around Sydney Cove and compare and contrast the exhibition print with the Sydney we know today. using the latest Google Earth technology important landmarks and buildings in the exhibition prints could be located and then seen as they are today.

 

For a closer look at these magnificent prints visit Beat Knoblauch & Associates website

Private collections are by their very nature different from public collections, shaped by the personality, taste and motivation of the collector.

Curator, Sue Hunt