Bruno Benini Archive Collection
The Bruno Benini photography archive was produced and collected over many years by Bruno Benini and his wife, Hazel Benini (nee Craig). It contains commercial and fashion photography taken in Australia and Europe between 1950 and 2001.
Bruno Benini migrated from Italy to Australia with his parents in 1935. After studying Science at Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT University), Benini worked for a brief period for General Motors Holden and returned to Italy in the late 1940s. On his return to Australia he joined German emigre photographer Henry Talbot at Peter Fox studios, working first as a receptionist and salesman, then as assistant to Talbot. He also learnt the trade by working as a model at various times with Helmut Newton, Athol Shmith and Henry Talbot. Benini's archive covers over five decades of Melbourne, Australian and international fashion, with strong representation of dress from the 1950s through to the 1970s. The earliest works highlight the coutured elegance of the fifties, but the collection quickly moves into the less restrictive, less tailored, mod and hippy styles of the sixties before confronting the raunchier funkier styles of the 1970s. It then also features sexier disco and club scene wear of the 1980s as well as nude male model portraiture and work done in association with the Nike-dominated 1990s. While many Australian magazines and fashion studios regularly discarded all their old stock and references, the Benini archive provides an invaluable, uniquely comprehensive, reference point for Australian (and international) fashion over these decades. While the archive relates primarily to fashion photography, it also includes portraiture and more general commercial photography. It consists of around 200 large format photographic prints (vintage and more recent prints), numerous smaller reference prints, several thousand colour transparencies and black and white negatives produced during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and biographical material, including tear sheets, magazine and newspaper cuttings, dating from the 1950s through to the photographer's death in 2001. Collected by Bruno and his wife Hazel Benini, it also records their working lives together - Bruno as a commercial and fashion photographer, Hazel as a fashion publicist, display stylist and advertising and marketing consultant. It highlights their close involvement with many Australian, and in particular Melbourne, fashion and dress manufacturers and retailers. It also document's Melbourne, and in particular Melbourne's Jewish diaspora's pivotal role in the production, design, manufacture and retailing of post World War II Australian fashion
The material included in this collection is subject to copyright.
Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the Powerhouse Museum website.
Archives; Film negatives; Photographic prints; Photographic transparencies; Photographs; Posters; Scrapbooks
Australian fashion; Fashion photography
Bruno Benini; Hazel Benini