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Fletcher, Judith (1886 - 1971)

30 June 1886
Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Professional photographer
Alternative Names
  • Fletcher, Ann Judith
  • Paszek, Judith Ann


Judith Fletcher is remembered for being one of the first women portrait photographers to work in Sydney (along with May and Mina Moore) and to establish her own studio.


Judith Fletcher was born on the 30 June 1886 in Katoomba, NSW, into a large family of five children. Fletcher's father was the headmaster of Katoomba College and her mother, Ann Marion Fletcher, was an accomplished embroiderer. One of her mother's embroideries, designed by Blamire Young, was exhibited in the 1907 Women's Work exhibition in Melbourne and won first prize in its section. Her mother's embroidery skills were passed on to Judith as she was growing up.

The family moved from Katoomba to Greenwich, Sydney, where Fletcher lived until her marriage. Fletcher's involvement with photography was initially as an amateur. She developed a range of technical skills, and studied aspects art photography while exhibiting in photographic salons. Fletcher became a professional photographer in 1908 and worked in her North Shore studio from 1905-1930. APR reported her successful transition from amateur to professional in 1908, praising in particular her 'at-home portraits especially of women and children' (cited in Hall 37).

Fletcher later established herself amongst the socialites of Sydney, and made important connections with artists such as Arthur Streeton, whom she photographed. Fletcher also associated with photographers including Frank Bell, and Mina and May Moore. From 1916-1918 Fletcher was advertising her 'art photography' and George Street studio in Sydney Ure Smith's publication, Art in Australia. The advertisements featured full-page photographic portraits of celebrities and socialites. Fletcher was also a fashion photographer.

During the 1920s Fletcher worked from her Greenwich home; she continued to participate in photographic salons until the 1930s. Her photographs were published in The Australian Women's Weekly, The Sydney Mail, The Sunday Times and The Land from the 1920s-1930s.

Fletcher was a theosophist and during the 1920s became involved in in the Krishnamurti Star Movement amphitheatre at Balmoral Beach. She married Gerard Paszek, a Polish violinmaker, before the outbreak of WW2. They initially lived in Mount Kuringai, and later moving to Glenorie. After her wedding Fletcher maintained little connection with her old friends and associates, as her husband was said to be 'an extremely possessive man' (Design and Art Australia).

Judith Fletcher died in 1971 Sydney, NSW


Art Gallery of New South Wales

National Library of Australia

State Library of New South Wales


1903 - 1904
Exhibition - Judith Fletcher exhibited in a variety of salons prior to 1905.
c. 1907 - c. 1930
Active as professional photographer
Exhibition - Judith Fletcher's work was featured in Beyond the Picket Fence. Location: National Library of Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Sources used to compile this entry: Hall, Barbara and Mather, Jenni, Australian Women Photographers 1840 - 1960, Greenhouse Publications, Richmond, Victoria, 1986, 164 pp; 'Judith Fletcher', in Design and Art Australia Online,; Newton, Gael, 'Judith Fletcher', in Kerr, Joan (ed.), Heritage: The National Women's Art Book, Crafstman House, Roseville East, NSW, 1995, pp. 121-22.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Gallery of Australia, Research Library Archive

  • [Judith Fletcher : Art & Artist Files ( Australia and New Zealand)]., MMS ID: 990019267570402361; Fletcher, Judith (1886 - 1971); National Gallery of Australia, Research Library Archive. Details

Anne Maxwell (with Morfia Grondas and Lucy Van)

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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