In 1875, Methodist George Brown arrived in the Bismarck Archipelago to establish the New Britain Mission. Based in the Duke of York Islands, Brown's territory covered New Ireland and the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain. The mission was one of the first to be photographed from its inception. The Australian Museum holds 96 plates from the first five years of the mission. Brown's photographs are a visual record of conditions and peoples of the time. Analysed in relation to Brown's writings they are indicative of the relationships and bonds established through photography both in the mission field and across wider scientific and church audiences. The methodology employed here also challenges the kinds of interpretations of photographs that can arise from visual analyses relying solely on the caption and the posing of the subject.
Field of Research
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified