John Nevin and Gould’s white goshawk

WHITE HAWK.- We were yesterday shown a fine specimen of this bird wounded in Kangaroo Valley by Mr. Nevin. The bird is the common White Hawk (Leucospiza Novae Hollandiae) of this colony and Australia, and is well figured in Gould’s large work on Australian Birds under the name of Astur Novae Hollandiae. Gould was formerly of opinion that the White Hawk was merely an albino variety of the New Holland Goshawk, but in his more recent work the “Handbook of Birds of Australia,” he has placed it under the genus Leucospiza. This hawk is by no means rare. … More John Nevin and Gould’s white goshawk

Fraudulent  pretensions

This image of a building is not a vignetted carte-de-visite photograph of a man in prison clothing, yet the curator of photographs at the State Library of NSW, Alan Davies, is proposing it is sufficient evidence to warrant a claim that A.H. Boyd was a photographer, and to extend that claim to a proposition that Boyd was also the photographer of the “bulk” of the 300 extant prisoner cartes, despite all the available evidence of attribution to Thomas J. Nevin. As recently as August 2009, Alan Davies maintained that proposition, which is founded in the cliched equation “Tasmania + convicts=Port Arthur” … … More Fraudulent  pretensions

The early deaths of Thomas Nevin’s sisters Rebecca and Mary

In early 1977, Special Collections Librarian at the State Library of Tasmania, G.T. Stilwell, established from archival records (AOT MB 2/98) that parents John and Mary Nevin had arrived in Hobart in 1852 with four children: Thomas, Mary Ann, Rebecca, and William John (Jack). He forwarded this information in a letter to the QVMAG where curator John McPhee was preparing an exhibitions of Thomas Nevin’s photographs of convicts taken in the 1870s… … More The early deaths of Thomas Nevin’s sisters Rebecca and Mary

Portraits by T.J. Nevin in The Lucy Batchelor Collection

This selection from the Lucy Batchelor Album of 1870s carte-de-visite portraits by Tasmanian photographer Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923), submitted courtesy of Robyn and Peter Bishop, was scanned from the original page. Each carte is mounted behind the cut-out frame of the album leaves. The album is ca. 150 years old. … More Portraits by T.J. Nevin in The Lucy Batchelor Collection

T.J. Nevin’s prisoner mugshots,  Mitchell Library NSW

THOMAS NEVIN’S ELEVEN The Mitchell Library at the State Library of NSW has catalogued eleven prisoner photographs so far which were taken by Thomas Nevin and his younger brother Jack Nevin at the Hobart Gaol between 1875 and 1884. All of these men were habitual offenders with long criminal records who spent as much if … More T.J. Nevin’s prisoner mugshots,  Mitchell Library NSW

First son and second child,  Thomas ‘Sonny’ Nevin

Thomas ‘Sonny’ James Nevin jnr (1874-1948) married Gertrude Jane Tennyson Bates (1883-1958) at the Wesleyan Church, Hobart, on February 6th, 1907. Her father, Walter Tennyson Bates, a renowned bandmaster, had died in 1905. By July 1907, Gertrude’s mother, Elizabeth Jane Bates nee Jones, had left Hobart and arrived in Sydney with six of her seven children – Gertrude remaining in Hobart with husband Thomas James ‘Sonny’ Nevin (jnr). Her mother and siblings migrated first to Vancouver, and eventually to California in 1910. … More First son and second child,  Thomas ‘Sonny’ Nevin

Nevin’s mugshots: the transitional pose and frame

Between 1876 and 1884, transitional years in the history of 19th century prison photography, changes took place in the way Jack and Thomas Nevin posed the prisoner and and printed the final carte-de-visite. The technology changed too. Lenses after 1875 enabled a closer or larger image of the face. The prisoner was also posed closer to the camera in a full frontal position facing the photographer, and although the oval vignette was still the preferred format for printing, square frames were also used. The formalised front and profile pair of portraits using the methods of Bertillonage did not appear in Tasmanian prison photography until the late 1890s, by which time both Nevin brothers had ceased professional photography. … More Nevin’s mugshots: the transitional pose and frame