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Clarke, Pegg (c. 1890 - 1956)

Born
c. 1890
Died
1956
Occupation
Professional photographer

Summary

Pegg Clarke was a Pictorialist photographer who ran her own successful photography business until the 1950s. Clarke is known for being the only woman to be included in the First Exhibition of the Australian Salon of Photography in 1924.

Details

Little is known of Pegg Clarke's early years and what drew her to photography. What is evident, however, is that she worked as a professional photographer of considerable repute. Jack Cato referred to her work as being of 'the highest standard' (Cato 136).

During the interwar period, Clarke's clientele included rich and prominent Melbourne society figures. Clarke was known for her studio, portrait and function photography, as well as for her urban and rural photographs, which were created in the Pictorialist style.

Clarke was well-regarded for her softly focussed impressionistic style, and her photograph Mist in the Mountains was reproduced in Cameragraphs, and included in the First Exhibition of the Australian Salon of Photography in 1924. She was the only Australian woman to be included in this exhibition. Another of her photographs, Winnie, created controversy due to its 'fuzzy' image but ended up winning equal first prize at The Home Portraiture Competition in 1915.

Clarke lived with the artist Dora Wilson at 'Rosebank,' Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, opposite Scotch College, from 1927. The two women shared a studio, and also travelled around Australia, and then London and Europe from 1926-1927. During this period they produced a series of photographs and paintings that were later featured in an exhibition entitled Together Again: Celebrating the work of Pegg Clark and Dora Wilson, in 2009.

Pegg Clarke died at the age of 66 in 1956. Her photographs continue to generate interest regularly sell at Australian auctions.

Collections

Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum

Private Collections

State Library of Victoria.

Events

1915
Prize - Pegg Clarke was awarded a prize at the Australian Photo-Review competitiion for her child portrait Winnie.
c. 1919 - 1950s
Active as a professional photographer (Pictorialist). Location: Melbourne, Victoria.
1921
Exhibition - Pegg Clarke's work featured in the London Salon held by the Royal Photographic Society.
1923
Exhibition - Pegg Clarke's work featured in the Colonial Prints Exhibition,organised by the English magazine Amateur Photographer
1931
Exhibition - Pegg Clarke's work featured in Impressions of Melbourne Exhibition. Location: Auditorium building [Atheneum?] with Dora Wilson.
1981
Exhibition - Pegg Clarke's work featured in Australian Women Photographers 1840-1950. Location: Geoge Paton Gallery, Melbourne.
2009
Exhibition - Pegge Clarke's work featured in Together Again: Celebrating the Work of Pegg Clarke and Dora Wilson. Location: Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn, Vic.

Related entries

Digital resources

Title
Alan Geoffrey Searle, Aged 4 Years
Type
Image
Creator
Clarke, Pegg
Control
H98.178
Source
State Library of Victoria

Details

Title
Helena, Countess of Stradboke
Type
Image
Date
c. 1926
Creator
Clarke, Pegg
Control
H33061
Source
State Library of Victoria

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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