Beautiful Photos of Australian Models Taken by Gervais Purcell in the 1940s and ’50s

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Gervais Purcell (1919-1999) was a respected Australian commercial photographer who worked from the 1940s through to the 1960s with retailers like David Jones and Hordern Bros, radio technology manufacturer Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA), swimwear manufacturer Jantzen, tourism operator Ansett Airways, and cruise ship operators P&O.

Beautiful Australian models in swimsuits taken by Gervais Purcell in the 1950s

Gervais’ camera and some of his swimwear fashion photographs were featured in the popular ANMM traveling exhibition Exposed! the story of swimwear of 2009.

This selection of photographs is a part of the 3000 images in this emerging ANMM collection donated to The Australian National Maritime Museum in 2012 by Gervais’ son Leigh Purcell. They captured portraits of beautiful Australian models in the 1940s and 1950s.

Two models posing near a beach, 1946

Woman modeling swimwear, 28 March 1947

Woman modeling a hat, 1949

Woman modeling a hat, 1949

Woman modeling a hat, 1949

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