E.O. Hoppé

This is a beautiful image of photo journalist and photographer to the stars, Emil Otto Hoppé, taken by another photographer to the stars, Cecil Beaton, in 1969. Beaton called Hoppé “The Master”.

Munich born Hoppé had a famously large studio in London. It had previously been Millais’ and later on was to be Francis Bacon’s studio.

I think Beaton has captured the man with his direct gaze. Like Hoppé’s direct gaze at Australian life.

He took many portraits but in the 1920s he travelled the world.

| E.O. Hoppé, Cecil Beaton, 1969 |

He got to Australia in 1930 and spent ten months capturing the spirit of Australia.

He had his 18 year old son with him and this image captures the innocence at the moment of their arrival. In his natty gear pitching a tent in Arcadia.

| E.O. Hoppé, Emil and Frank Hoppé attempting to erect a tent in Arcadia New South Wales, 1930 |

He went on to publish the book The Fifth Continent using only a small number of the many images taken over the ten months.

Here is the cover image of him straddling the world.

| Original photomontage for the Fifth Continent, 1931 |

I’ve taken these images from a great book about E.O. Hoppé by Graham Howe and Erika Esau published in 2007. Howe was responsible for rescuing these images from obscurity. The owners of the Mansell Collection were ready to retire so Howe brokered the sale of the collection to Time-Life. Although who knows how they will stand up within an image collection of 21 million.

Julia Ritson


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