Touring exhibition: Frank Hurley: Journeys into Papua

Experience the evocative images of one of the greatest Australian photographers of the 20th century.


Woman of Fane village, Central Province, PNG

Woman of Fane village, Central Province, PNG
Photographer: Frank Hurley © Australian Museum

In Papua, Hurley documented the undiscovered, the majestic. Remarkably, though, his innovative art also gives valuable insight into his own life in Papua and his outstanding ability to document distinctive turning points in the 20th century. It was Hurley's superb coverage of the Mawson and Shackleton

'Like anything to do with Hurley, the Papua photographs were cloaked in controversy and showmanship.'

Steve Meacham, The Sydney Morning Herald

Antarctic expeditions and the horror of the First World War that first guaranteed him a special place in history. But it is in the history of Papua that he achieved the most – many of his photographs are the only record of extinct traditions.

Hurley was not an objective observer; his cameras were tools to produce dramatic stories with popular appeal, even when this meant working in dangerous situations or crossing lines where others saw boundaries. Was he a photographer, filmmaker, adventurer, storyteller or showman? You decide.

'I am out to make a hit and win success and realise that I can only secure it by my own efforts.'

Frank Hurley

Exhibition package

  • 82 professionally framed and mounted photographs
  •  A selection of Papuan artefacts from Hurley's expeditions (dependant on environmental conditions at venue)
  • 14 story panels
  • CD with soundscape
  • Film excerpt from Hurley's Pearls and Savages
  • Media kit

'He pushed the limits throughout his career ... In Papua, he wasn't so much making up images as deliberately creating a drama'

Jim Specht, Curator

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