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<EM>Miss H Hedley</EM> by Spencer Digby Studios

Curator Athol McCredie talks about this glamourous studio photograph


Miss H Hedley by Spencer Digby Studios
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>The images in this cluster are all from the Wellington photographic studio of Spencer Digby.</P> <P>From the mid-1920s up until 1960, anyone who was anybody had their photograph taken at Spencer Digby’s Lambton Quay studio.</P> <P>An example is the picture of Miss Hedley, on the top right.</P> <P>She wears a long white dress and white gloves, and is posed against floor-to-ceiling drapes. The photograph presents an idealised image. With her carefully styled hair and delicate bouquet of flowers, she looks every bit the silver screen star.</P> <P>The studio’s artistry is on show here. Powerful studio lighting and carefully controlled shadows create a sumptuous, three-dimensional effect that was especially popularised by Hollywood photographers of movie stars. The folds in her dress and in the curtains behind her are perfectly and richly captured.</P> <P>Photographs such as this show how glamour and celebrity can be carefully constructed with the help of the camera, no matter who the subject might be.</P> <P><EM>The next work is tucked away in the small gallery 11, behind you on your right.<BR></EM></P>

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Miss H Hedley

Spencer Digby Studios, Miss H Hedley, 17 March 1953, black and white negative,
Spencer Digby / Ronald D Woolf Collection. Gift of Ronald Woolf, 1975.
Full object info is available on collections.tepapa.govt.nz