21 facts about Olive Cotton

By Gwylym Owen

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Olive Cotton (11 July 1911 – 27 September 2003) was a pioneering Australian modernist female photographer of the 1930s and 1940s operating in Sydney. Cotton became a national “name” with a retrospective and touring exhibition 50 years difficult in 1985. A compilation of her sparkle and work, published by the National Library of Australia, came out in 1995. Cotton captured her childhood friend Max Dupain from the sidelines at photoshoots, e.g. “Fashion shot, Cronulla Sandhills, circa 1937” and made several portraits of him. Dupain was Cotton’s first husband.

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