Morris Moss

Descriptions of portraits in the Maitland Mercury between 1875 and 1894. 

Of the numerous portraits taken by Moss over the years, descriptions of some of those appeared in the Maitland Mercury between 1875 and 1894, including the following:

On Monday evening, the members of the West Maitland Water Brigade, with some friends, assembled at Mr. M. Scott's, Birmingham House, West Maitland, for the purpose of presenting an address and testimonial to their President, Mr. R. W. Thompson…The " picture" referred to by Mr. Thompson, was the set of portraits of the members of the Brigade, photographed by Mr. M. Moss, embellished with scroll work by Mr. Aland Watt, and set in a fine gilt frame, which has been for some weeks on view at Mr. Moss's gallery in High-street.
MM Thursday 22 April 1875

Mr. M. Moss, photographer, of West Maitland, has just completed the photographs of the members of the Maitland Garrick Amateur Dramatic Club, and the whole forms very nice picture. There are seventeen portraits in all of the usual album style, the centre one being that of the stage manager, Mr. W. H. Kelly, and they are surmounted by the likeness of the Mayor, Mr. James Fulllord, the patron of the club. The border surrounding the portraits is an imitation of the front of a proscenium, the pillars containing the words "drama, farce, comedy, opera," and the name of the club ornamenting the arch of the proscenium. The ornamental border is the work of Mr, H. Emmerson, from a design suggested by Mr. Moss. The whole is enclosed in a dark wood frame. The name of each of the members is filled in under the portraits. Mr. Moss is to be congratulated on his work both for the faithfulness of the portraits, and the design of the picture.
MM Saturday 14 August 1880

PORTRAIT or MR. THOMAS EVANS.-We were yesterday shown a splendid portrait of Mr. Thomas Evans, one of the oldest and most respected residents of the district. The picture has been executed by Mr. M. Moss, photographer of this town, and we need hardly say that it reflects great credit upon the artist. Mr. Evans appears in full regalia as a Past Master Mason, The size of the picture is three feet by two feet four inches, and the portrait is finished in oils and water colours. ..The large picture now under notice Is, we understand, to be placed in a conspicuous position in the banquet hall adjoining the Masonic Lodge room, and has been executed to the order of the brethren of the mystic tie, of which body Mr. Thomas Evans is one of the oldest members in the colony.
MM Saturday 13 October 1883

FINE PHOTOGRAPHS -Yesterday afternoon we were shown at the studio of Mr. M. Moss, High-street West Maitland, some very excellent photographs just executed by that gentleman. They are worthy of the high reputation of the establishment. Indeed they are the finest specimens of photography we have seen in Maitland. The collection includes a very fine photograph of a gentleman well known in squatting circles-an opal enlargement, delicately coloured- a perfect likeness ; a full size bust of the Rev. W. H. H. Yarrington, and several others. They are all excellent likenesses, and thoroughly characteristic in expression. Mr. Moss has also in hand a life size bust of the late Mr. James Price, which is perfect in every particular. The studio presents an exceedingly bright appearance just now, the collection having been largely augmented, and the glass cases contain a number of picked photos, which would do credit to any establishment in the colony.
MM Saturday 19 July 1884

THE CHAMPION SCULLER OF THE WORLD.- Mr M. Moss, the well and favourably known photographer of this town, has presented to the Maitland Rowing Club a very fine photograph of Mr. William Beach, the champion sculler of the world…Mr. Moss is noted for his high does pictures, but his liberality towards regattas, &c. is also well known, and the handsome picture he has just presented to the club is only additional evidence of his desire to encourage manly sport, the picture is nicely mounted and framed, and will most likely be hung up in a conspicuous part of the boat shed.
MM Saturday 27 September 1884


MAITLAND HOSPITAL,-A meeting of the committee of the Maitland Hospital was held in the committee room on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. E. P. Capper, Treasurer, occupied the chair. Mr. Isaac Gorrick reported that in accordance with the wish expressed at the previous meeting he had seen Mr. M. Moss, and arranged with him to execute a large photograph of the late Dr. Howe, for some years a member of the Hospital medical staff, to be placed in the committee room. The photograph is to be similar in style and of the same size as those of the late Dr. John Pierce, the late Mr. E. P. Capper and Mr. J. P. Abbott, the gentlemen present referred to the loss the institution had sustained by the death of Dr. Howe,…
MM Thursday 11 December 1884


THE ADDRESS TO MR. WALTER EDMUNDS.-Mr. M. Moss, photographer of this town, has just completed some beautiful photographic copies of the handsome address recently presented to Mr. Walter Edmunds, LL.B., by his numerous friends and admirers. As a high class photographer, Mr. M. Moss has long been known throughout the colony, and in the work displayed upon the copies of the address which were shown us yesterday he has certainly kept up his reputation, for every word of the address can be read with the naked eye. Already the demand for copies is more than Mr. Moss anticipated, and no doubt most of Mr. Edmunds' friends will be glad to give their order for a copy or two of the address, in order that they may have a memento of the late presentation.
MM Thursday 5 November 1885


BUFFALO PRESENTATION - Mr. M. Moss, photographer, West Maitland, has just executed, for presentation to the Sir Richmond Thatcher Lodge, Ancient Order of Buffaloes, a large frame of photographs of the officers of the lodge, of which he is an active member. There are nine very admirable pictures, richly coloured and finished in Mr. Moss' best style. They would do credit to any studio in the colony. Each of the officers is dressed in regalia, which is of a very elaborate description, and the most minute points are conspicuously shown. The photographs are enclosed in a very handsome frame, and will be -on exhibition in Mr. Moss' window this evening.
MM Saturday 11 December 1886

PROPOSED MEMORIAL TO THE LATE MR. SEDDON -It will be remembered that at a large representative meeting of footballers and other gentlemen held at Barry's Hotel, on Thursday evening, under the presidency of the Mayor, to take steps to raise a memorial to the late Mr. Robert Lionel Seddon, Captain of the English football team...It was resolved, after discussion, to obtain thirty copies of photographs, taken by Mr. Pope, of the funeral procession, andthirty views of St. Paul's Church, where the burial service was conducted, of Mr. M. Moss, to be handed to the comrades of the deceased gentleman to be taken to England. 
MM Tuesday 21 August 1888

THE SEDDON MEMORIAL MOVEMENT - Mr. M. Moss, photographer, has executed to the order of the Englishmen, some fine photographs, comprising views of the spot where the late Mr. Seddon was drowned, the floating baths, boat shed, and the Royal Hotel. Those are mounted on a large card, and a portrait of the deceased gentle- man appears in the centre of the whole.
MM Saturday 1 September 1888

It will be recollected that at a recent meeting of the Committee of the Maitland Hospital it was determined to have a large photograph of the late lamented Dr. Pierce, president and senior consulting surgeon of the institution, placed in the committee-room to perpetuate the memory of the deceased gentleman, who for many years had been a kind friend to the hospital. Mr. M. Moss, photographer, High-street, whose work previously gave so much satisfaction to the committee, was asked to execute a life-size photograph of Dr. Pierce, from a negative which the artist possessed, and Mr. Moss has produced an admirable likeness of the late president of the institution. It is an excellent portrait very life-like, finished in oils under an improved process, we understand ; and we compliment the artist upon the general excellence of the work.
MM Saturday 6 April 1889

    Presented to the institution by M. Moss

SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY.-We have frequently referred to the specimens of high-class photography which Mr. M. Moss, of this town, has executed at his establishment. On Tuesday last we had a look at one of Mr. Moss's latest productions, in the form of an enlarged portrait of the Hon. the Minister of Lands (Mr. J. N. Brunker, M L.A.). The likeness is a striking and faithful picture, and the artist has been fortunate in turning out the best picture we have yet seen from the hands of any photographer. The popular Minister is shown with a happy smile on his face, exhibiting his benevolent and charitable yet firm disposition-characteristics for which Mr. Brunker is so justly admired and respected. Mr. Moss is justly proud of the praises which have been bestowed on this photo, by all who have seen it. We might state that the process is that known as Moss' patent permanent process of photography. MM Saturday 23 August 1890


PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS – We have been shown by Mr. M. Moss, photographer, Hugh Street, West Maitland, some specimen copies of views taken by him on Tuesday of the busy scene in the vicinity of the East Maitland goods shed. About fifty teams had been drawn up to the siding. Mr. Moss had his camera fixed on a carriage, and the photographs take in the whole surroundings, the men having ceased work for the time being. The set comprises three fine views, which are worthy of preservation.
MM Thursday 23 October 1890


FINE PHOTOGRAPHS.-We have been shown by Mr. M. Moss, photographer, High-street, West Maitland, two very finely finished photographs of Messrs. John Gillies, M.L.A., and Mr. J. H. Brunker. The pictures, it may be mentioned, have been enlarged in mezzo-tint from cabinet size, executed under the process known as the new argentile bromide plan. The process, it is said, is becoming very popular throughout the world by reason of the superiority of its results. The photographs of Messrs. Gillies and Brunker unquestionably are excellent and faithful likenesses, and as works of photographic art cannot be excelled. We congratulate Mr. Moss on his efforts to produce first-class work, a fact which goes to prove that Maitland can hold its own in artistic as well as in various other ways.
MM Saturday 8 August 1891


A “MERCURY” PORTRAIT GALLERY.-Many times it has been our pleasing duty to call attention to the excellent photographic work turned out of Mr. M. Moss' Elite Studio in West Maitland We have now to describe a work in which the staff of this office, from proprietors downwards, has cooperated with the artist, to the extent of undergoing the ordeal of sitting for a portrait. For Mr. Moss, conceiving that the public would feel some interest in the lineaments of those who share in the business of producing and distributing this journal, undertook the preparation of a picture which should contain the portraits of all in the Mercury office who work with hand or head. The result of his skill in portrait-taking and arrangement is seen in a picture four feet six inches high by three feet wide, in a massive black and gold frame. The decorative taste of Mr. Aland Watt was employed to devise a bordering for each portrait and for the whole group. An oval has been provided for each individual face and a coloured riband border encloses the whole. At the top, on a scroll, is the motto of the paper "The public welfare is the highest law ;" beneath it appears Mercury bearing the caduceus, and standing tiptoe, as it is usual to exhibit that deity ; and then on another scroll is printed the title of the journal " Maitland Mercury, Established 1843." Immediately under this the three proprietors are placed, then a picture of the head office, then 'pictures of the Editor, Overseer, and Sub-overseer, beneath them a view of the substitute office in Victoria-street, and about the sheet, in the rest of the spaces, the remainder of the staff are disposed. On a riband at the bottom of each oval is written the name of the person pourtrayed [sic] ; and a number being attached to each, a printed key gives information to all inquirers respecting the official standing of each individual. The portraits have, as we intimate, been all taken specially for this work, and Mr. Moss' expert assistant, Mr. Ked well, has succeeded in every respect in obtaining good and what are called speaking likenesses. A notion of Mr. Kedwell's labour may be gathered when we say that the portraits number forty two, and that with pictures of the two offices, forty four spaces have been filled. The picture forms to all connected with this journal, a pleasing memento. It is to proprietors a reminder of employés whose fortunes have been associated with the paper for many years ; and to employés an emblem of the comradeship and harmonious relations essential to the proper working of a great enterprise.
MM Saturday 21 October 1891


THE "MERCURY" PROPRIETORS AND STAFF. Some time since we described a large picture prepared by Mr. M. Moss, photographer, of West Maitland, exhibiting portraits of the proprietors of this journal, with those of the various members of the literary and typographical staffs, and of the other employés. This fine specimen of photography and judicious arrangement has been presented to the proprietors of the Mercury, who received with it the following letter: "West Maitland, February 15, 1892. To Messrs. Tucker. Gillies, and Thompson, Mercury Office, West Maitland. Gentlemen, I beg your acceptance of the large picture of the Mercury office, buildings, proprietors, and staff, which I recently photo- graphed and grouped. You will, I think, appreciate the fidelity of the likenesses, and value the picture as a memorial of the workers in the office at the present time and I am glad to be able to place it at your disposal. I am, gentlemen, yours faithfully, M. Moss." We propose to hang the picture in the front office of this establishment, so that the public will be able to judge of the excellence of Mr. Moss' work in this particular instance.
MM Saturday 20 February 1892


ARTISITC PHOTOGRAPHY - One of the finest things of the kind thatwe have seen is a portrait of the celebrated Miss Bessie Doyle executed at the Elite studio during that famous young musician's recent visit to Maitland. It is in what is known as the platino-type style, a method said to be absolutely permanent, a method which thus "grasps the shadow ere the substance fades" and retains it, too, with an ever-enduring grip.
MM Tuesday 29 August 1893

ARTISITC PHOTOGRAPHY — There is at present on view at the Elite Studio a very finely executed picture of his Lordship Dr. Murray, taken by special permission by Mr. Moss, who intends presenting the photograph to the committee who have the management of the approaching bazaar and fancy fair in hand. Undoubted works of art have been produced by Mr. Moss and his efficient staff in considerable profusion, but we doubt if the Studio has ever turned out anything equal to the splendid presentment of the good Bishop to which we allude. A very uncommon and unique system of photography has been employed in the production of the picture, which is as soft, deep-toned and mellow looking as an oil painting, but possessing a distinctness of outline that is absent from brush work. His Lordship is arrayed in his pontifical robes, with mitre, crozier and cope and alb and stole, and the gorgeous raiment adds considerably to the natural stately pose of Dr. Murray's massive figure. Mr. Moss may well be proud of his latest offspring in the charming field of photography, and the picture will undoubtedly be highly valued by the fortunate individual who will eventually possess it.
MM 4 May 1894