McPherson's Studios Collection

Albury's McPherson's Studios specialised in weddings, portraiture, child studies and commercial photography. Established by Duncan McPherson (1884-1952) in the 1930s, the studios operated in Anzac House, 611 Dean Street, Albury. The business was taken over in 1953 by Gustav Pottyondy (1908-82), who ran it until 1975 when he sold it to father-and-son partnership, Des Martin (1914-95) and Michael Martin. The Martins ran the business until it closed in the early 1980s.

The McPherson's Studios Collection comprises two distinct parts:

  • 1,000 negatives depicting streetscapes, civic events, sporting clubs, building interiors and public committees from the 1930s to 1974; and
  • 33,000 negatives of studio portraits of weddings, debutantes, family sittings, child studies, communions and confirmations from 1955 to 1970.

Much of the McPherson's Studios Collection was captured during Gustav Pottyondy's ownership. Pottyondy, a Hungarian and ex-military photographer, came to Albury as part of the massive wave of migration to Australia that occurred after World War II.

He has been described as 'a photographic perfectionist' and operated McPherson's Studios in a meticulous manner, indicated by the care with which he maintained his extensive archive of photographic negatives. Documentation for every photographic job undertaken in the course of 32 years was placed in its own envelope, and these were stored in chronological order. Significant details of the job were recorded on the envelope, including the photographer's job number, the subject matter, and the sitter's name and address.

A significance assessment describes the collection as 'an invaluable image resource for life, architecture, fashion trends and environment in the Albury area from 1930s until 1950s'.  The studio portraits reveal something of the customs, attitudes and values of people from Albury and district. As a whole, the collection provides a comprehensive documentary and visual record of the local area.

The LibraryMuseum would like to make the McPherson's Studios Collection available to the public. To do this, we require permission from all those people featured in the photographs. If you believe that you or your family may have had portraits taken by McPherson's Studios between 1955 and 1970, we would like to hear from you. Check out our McPherson Studio online database here.

Further Information