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John William Lindt
Kalo, Central Province, Papua New Guinea
Museums Victoria Collections
John W. Lindt Collection, XP22987
Curatorial description (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence, Accessed: 18 August 2020)
In 1885, photographer John William Lindt (1845-1926) accompanied Sir Peter Scratchley's expedition to the newly proclaimed Protectorate of British New Guinea. In 1887 he published fifty photographs from the expedition in Picturesque New Guinea. With an historical introduction and supplementary chapters on the manners and customs of the Papuans; accompanied with fifty full-page autotype illustrations from negatives of portraits from life and groups and landscaped from nature.
The expedition, led by Scratchley, then High Commissioner for the Protectorate, set out in 1885, one year after Britain annexed the territory. Lindt described his excitement at joining the crew of the Governor Blackall moored in Sydney on July 15 in the opening pages of this book. He had wanted to visit the island of New Guinea since first sighting it on the horizon during a visit to the Torres Strait in 1868. On arrival in Port Moresby, Lindt immediately sought opportunities to take photographs. His photographic work was facilitated for him by the Commissioner and the resident missionaries (William George Lawes (1839-1907) had established the London Missionary Society in New Guinea since 1874). An excursion inland was undertaken, guided by a government officer, where one of the locations the party visited was the village of Kalo. While there Lindt managed to obtain 'some nice groups, and especially one of two women in mourning, keeping watch at a hut erected over the remains of some departed relative' (Picturesque New Guinea).
Sepia toned oversized original print. Framed behind glass. Wooden frame. Signature in red at bottom right of image: "J. W. Lindt Melbourne". Typed annotation on gold plaque attached to bottom centre edge of frame: "New Guinea Mourners and Dead House at Kalo". Handwritten annotation in pencil on reverse "No. I".