Pickering, John David

Maitland : 1889-1893

After bankruptcy proceedings against photographic artist John David Pickering of 149 Dowling Street in Sydney in April 1888, [1]  Pickering reappears in Maitland the following month, assuming he is the Pickering named in an advertisement for Pickering and Pope.

The next mention of Pickering comes in February of the following year as the manager of Sullivan’s studio at Hart’s buildings, High Street, noted as being “late proprietor of the Dore Studio, Sydney, and who was for many years with Tuttle and Co.” [2]

Pickering’s name continues to be featured as studio manager at Sullivan’s, his photographic subjects including ladies at the Premier Skating Rink, [3]  the Half Holiday Rugby Football Club, the post office staff at West Maitland and the officials in the Telegraph department produced. [4]

Pickering manages the Sullivan studio until November 1891, when he takes over the business. 

                          Image: Maitland City Library 

Large display advertisements are published in December, enticing customers with the offer of a free Christmas card, mounted with their photo. [5]

Pickering is on the scene with his camera as Maitland’s Senior Cadet Company complete a successful drill in the park in 1892 [6] as well as photographing Corporal McPhie's funeral, the image being copied by the Illustrated Sydney News. [7]

The receipt of an appreciation medal for his photograph of Stockton Municipal Council speaks well for Pickering’s photographic success and perhaps his public relations skills as well. [8]

Later in the year, Pickering is praised for his image of Captain Cracknell in full cavalry uniform, 'seated on his charger' –  the horse is worthy of special mention, since 'the artist has been specially happy in getting the horse in a good pose, and the animal is exceedingly life-like and natural.' [9]

Pickering’s innovative photographs on silk are noted by the Mercury in July of 1892 [10] and he makes use of a 'special coupon' offer to entice business from the public of East Maitland, Morpeth, Raymond Terrace and Miller’s Forest, for ‘beautifully finished cabinet portraits’. [11]

Six months after the 'special coupon' offer, Pickering announces his intention to depart for Sydney and for one month, the prices for photographs will be reduced. He also draws attention to the new process of platinotypes, ‘which he has been very successful with.’ [12]

In May 1893 George Kedwell announces that he has succeeded Mr. Pickering at the Dore Studio. [13]

Eleven years later, in 1904, roles are reversed, with Pickering returning to Maitland as manager of the Venice Studios, who acquired Kedwell’s business after Kedwell moves to Sydney. [14]         

Image : Wollombi Museum

Image : Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

[1] Maitland Mercury,  17 April 1888

[2] Maitland Mercury,  2 February 1889 

[3] Maitland Mercury, 30 July 1889

[4] Maitland Mercury, 26 September 1891

[5] Maitland Mercury, 26 December 1891

[6] Maitland Mercury,  4 February 1892 

[7] Maitland Mercury,  22 March 1892

[8] Maitland Mercury,  13 September 1892

[9] Maitland Mercury,  24 December 1892

[10] Maitland Mercury, 26 July 1892

[11] Maitland Mercury, 24 September 1892

[12] Maitland Mercury, 22 April 1893

[13] Maitland Mercury, 27 May 1893

[14] Maitland Mercury, 4 July 1904