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The exquisite ballet photography of Jean Stewart

11 November 2020

In 2015 the State Library acquired a breathtaking collection of rare ballet photos, from the 1930s to 1950s, generously donated by extraordinary Melbourne photographer Jean Stewart.

Jean was known for her intuitive eye in capturing the magical and ephemeral moments when dance and theatre connect, while shooting from the darkness of rows E and F.

In the video above, take a tantalising glimpse into the ballet world she was so passionate about, and discover some of the innovative and creative ways she captured her shots.

With special voiceover by David McAllister of The Australian Ballet.

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About From the Vault

From the Vault is a video series that delves into the surprising, poignant and sometimes funny stories behind the unique archival images held in the State Library Victoria collection.

Find out more and view all episodes.