Street Photography

National Exhibition Register

  • Street Photography
    Ted Waight Street Photography, 1940
    Image Credit
    Street Photography by Leicagraph Co Photographer Ted Waight, Pitt Street, Sydney 1940. State Library of New South Wales: ON 226

About the exhibition

Before the days of Instagram, personal cameras, copyright and privacy laws, street photographers were a familiar part of city streets during the 1930’s to the late 1950’s, inadvertently creating a vast archive of black-and-white, postcard-sized candid images. At the height of its popularity in the mid 1930’s, over 10,000 people in NSW were buying photos from street photography companies every week.

Developed in collaboration with nationally acclaimed photomedia artist Anne Zahalka, this exhibition explores the heyday of this once popular but now forgotten genre. Following a hugely successful public call-out over 1500 personal images contributed by people far and wide have come to light giving a glimpse into the everyday life during the Depression, WWII and postwar years. These images recall a time when people dressed up in their Sunday best to ‘go to town’, the women in hats and gloves and the men in suits. They show us the war years when servicemen and women were a common sight on our streets, and the optimistic faces of postwar immigrants exploring their new city. Each a memento of a day spent in the city, 250 of these images, digitised and enlarged, form the basis this exhibition.

Presented alongside this extraordinary and largely unseen pictorial record is a series of works by Anne Zahalka, who has restaged ten of the original images, with descendants and those still living in similar locations where their parents, grandparents or they once stood. The exhibition also includes contemporary candid images taken in key places similar to the street photography of the past. This gallery of faces reveals just how much we have changed – or have we?

Artists and Curator

Anna Cossu

Anne Zahalka

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
10/08/2022 - 31/12/2025
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Sydney Living Museum
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Invitations or Invitation Template, Labels, Media Kit, Mobile Phone App, Public Program Opportunities
Other materials
375 photographs - original prhotographs, exhibition prints, interactive ipads, digital projection and slideshow Street Photography equipment Reproduction photo kiosk Exhibition film featuring Anne Zahalka
Primary contact
Tara Kita
Senior Producer Travelling Exhibitions
Sydney Living Museums
02 8239 2265
Street Photography is a travelling exhibition form Sydney Living Museums