Max Dupain was born in 1911 in Sydney, where he lived and worked for most of his life.
Dupain's lifelong fascination with photography began when he was given his first camera – a 'Box Brownie' – at the age of 13. In 1929 he joined the Photographic Society of NSW while still at school. On leaving school he trained and worked with Cecil Bostock, a popular commercial photographer. By the age of 23, Dupain had already opened his own studio in Sydney.
During World War II Dupain served with the Royal Australian Air Force in Darwin and was a service photographer in Papua New Guinea. Photographing the war deeply affected him and, in turn, his photography. He felt that photography needed to abandon what he called the 'cosmetic lie' and to accurately reflect real life.
Dupain's iconic images – such as the famous Sunbaker – capture the uniqueness of Australian identity and in particular the importance of the beach. His work is characterised by dramatic lighting effects applied to still lives, nudes and architecture.
In the 1930s Dupain came to Albury to photograph the development of the city, its streetscapes and surrounding landscapes and its everyday life. During this visit he captured iconic images of landmarks including the Albury Post Office and the Globe Hotel.
Dupain's continued association with Albury – which included entering the inaugural Albury Art Prize in 1947 – is reflected in Albury Art Gallery's significant collection of his work.