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Capturing Nature

The ground-breaking scientific photographs of Australian Museum curator Gerard Krefft and taxidermist Henry Barnes are revealed for the first time. In the mid-nineteenth century, some of the earliest adopters of the revolutionary new art form of photography were scientists. Museums around the world were quick to see the huge potential for capturing fleeting moments of life, death and discovery. At the Australian Museum, curator Gerard Krefft and taxidermist Henry Barnes began to experiment with photography in the 1860s, preparing and staging their specimens from whales and giant sunfish to lifelike lyre bird scenes and fossils and capturing them in thousands of beautiful and arresting images. Captured reveals this fascinating visual archive for the first time, profiling the remarkable partnership of Krefft and Barnes, their innovative work and the Australian Museums urgent quest to become more scientific in its practices.

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