NGV // Henry Talbot: 1960s Fashion Photographer

The 1960s in Melbourne was an electifying time of style rebellion and radical self expression. Fashion photographer Henry Talbot captured many classic photographs during that time, and soon you can see them in a free exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Selected from an extraordinary archive of 35,000 negatives that Talbot gifted to the NGV in the 1980s, many of the eighty images have never been seen since their original publication 50 years ago. The images offer insight into the styles and changing attitudes of the 1960s, along with Melbourne streetscapes that are forever changed.

‘Henry Talbot’s photography captures the exuberance and changing times of a generation. His modern photographs depict an emerging youth culture and offer an insider’s look into a thriving cultural scene during the 1960s.’

– Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV

Talbot brought with him from Germany an invigorating internationalism to Australian photography. When he partnered with Helmut Newton to open a successful studio on Flinders Lane in Melbourne, they secured major clients like the Australian Wool Board and Sportscraft. It was during the 1960s that Talbot made his mark on Australian fashion photography – his work was regularly published in Australian Vogue.

Henry Talbot. No title (Fashion illustration, model Maggie Tabberer wearing ocelot coat) 1961–66 Henry Talbot Fashion Photography Archive (119634) © Lynette Anne Talbot

The free exhibition includes some of Talbot’s original fashion spreads from Australian Vogue, giving a rich visual history that chronicles the magazine’s first decade in Australia.


Talbot’s photography recalls the public’s affinity for uniquely Australian brands like Qantas and Holden, and a time when fast cars and air travel were coveted luxury experiences (now commoditised into everyday comforts). In recognition of these aspirations airports, planes and brand new cars were often the glamorous backdrop to Talbot’s photographs.

Shot on location around Melbourne, the photographs show Talbot’s progressive style and ability to transform 1960s Melbourne into places that could easily be mistaken for Paris, London or New York.

Henry Talbot. No title (Fashion illustration model wearing hip length fur jacket, photographed at the National Gallery of Victoria) 1960s
Henry Talbot. No title (Fashion illustration for Stella Ricks, unknown model wearing coat and hat) 1960s Henry Talbot Fashion Photography Archive (119639) © Lynette Anne Talbot

The exhibition will open 7 May – August 2016  at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square during the NGV’s landmark 200 Years of Australian Fashion exhibition, which is open now.  Together, the two exhibitions will offer a comprehensive look back at Australian fashion in the 1960s.

Pictured at top:  Henry Talbot born Hindenburg, Germany 06 December 1920, arrived Australia 1940, died Sydney, New South Wales 25 January 1999. No title (Fashion illustration for Sportscraft, Treasury Gardens, Melbourne) 1960-61 gelatine silver photograph 24.3×19.1cm Henry Talbot Fashion Photography Archive (119649) (c) Lynette Anne Talbot

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