Burch photographic collection among fine auction art works

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 31st August, 2017

The photographic collection of distinguished Australian arts administrator Peter Burch is part of Mossgreen’s forthcoming Fine Australian & International Art auction from 6.30pm Monday September 4 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale in Melbourne, Victoria.

The first professional administrator of Victorian Opera and state manager for more than three decades of Musica Viva Australia, his interest in the visual arts is most clearly demonstrated through the accumulation of important photographic images.

Many of Burch’s works were sourced through the now legendary Church Street Photographic Centre run by Joyce Evans.

His example of Max Dupain’s Sunbaker (scheduled to be offered in Mossgreen’s October 30 art auction) is one of the most pristine examples of the iconic image and only obtained after much persistence.

Instantly recognisable is Arnold Newman’s 1946 cropped portrait of concert pianist Igor Stravinsky – demonstrating the photographer’s exceptional genius in the art of composition and helping establish him as the master of environmental portraiture.

Another important image is the extraordinary large example of Antarctic photographer Herbert Ponting’s The End of Barne Glacier (Dog Sled on an Iceberg) 1910-1913.

Outside the Burch collection, Lee Friedlander’s iconic 1966 image, New York City, from the estate of former curator of photography at the National Gallery of Victoria Jennie Boddington, is bound to spark plenty of interest.

Traditionalists are well represented at the auction with paintings by Arthur and David Boyd, Albert Tucker, Charles Blackman and Donald Friend.

Contemporary and indigenous highlights include American artist John Baldessari’s Noses & Ears etc, only the second of his works to come onto the Australian auction market, two large and important Peter Nielsen paintings, and several indigenous acrylics by Kitty Kantilla, Stumpy Brown and Ginger Riley.

The auction commences with a pair of Mortimer Menpes and a profile portrait of a young gentleman by Girolamo Nerli.

Another interesting 19th century gem is Walter Meston’s 1898 Sunset, Perth


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