2019 Darkroom Dinner Auction Items

Rennie ELLIS

My son Josh learns to swim  1972
gelatin silver print 29.0 x 43.5 cm
courtesy of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive 

edition: 10/60
estimate: $1900 – $2200

Rennie Ellis (1940–2003) was a photojournalist who chronicled Australian culture in the late twentieth century. He had a particular interest in the social life of Melbourne, and often documented celebrations, political protests and other public events. Ellis was also a driving force in the push to have photography recognised as a contemporary art form, and in 1972 he established Brummels Gallery of Photography, the first gallery dedicated to showing photography in Australia. During the course of his life Ellis rarely staged exhibitions, but his images were widely circulated in publications including a range of books authored by Ellis.

Ellis was the subject of MGA’s touring exhibition The Rennie Ellis Show, which travelled to venues around Australia 2014–17. Ellis’s photographs feature in MGA’s collection as well as each of the major public collections in Australia, including National Gallery of Australia and National Gallery of Victoria.



  • Support us
  • The Luminaries
  • The Director's Circle
  • Photography 500
  • MGA Foundation
  • Friends of MGA Inc
  • Supporters
  • Become a volunteer
The Australian home of photography