Maurice Weidemann (1936-2001)

Maurice Weidemann was born in Ararat, in Western Victoria, on 1 November 1936, to farming parents.

Maurice studied agricultural science at the University of Melbourne in the late 1950s, and took a PhD in Biochemistry there soon after. Following postdoctoral studies in Oxford and Munich Maurice returned to Australia to his first academic post, at ANU, recruited by Professor Michael Birt, the Foundation Professor in Biochemistry. He took early retirement from ANU in 1993, after serving as Senior Lecturer and Reader in Biochemistry for 23 years, including a period of seven years as Head of the Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Faculty of Science. Since leaving ANU he was mostly engaged with his passion of photography, with extensive walking tours in France, Spain, USA, Sikkim and Bhutan providing striking images for his camera. From 1993 to 1996, with Peter Stewart, he helped ANU inaugurate a series of Summer Schools for Science Teachers drawn nationally.

Beyond his academic life, Maurice was a skilful and enthusiastic photographer, and was awarded Photographer of the Year by the ACT Photographic Society on several occasions. 

Maurice was a fearless comrade in the struggles in which his conscience involved him over the three decades that he lived in Canberra, including those concerned with the importance of universities and the ABC.

By Geoffrey Smith and Peter Stewart (Read Maurice's obituary here)

Absence of Sunshine (1982-5)

Exhibition 19 May - 25 June
Exhibition Opening Friday 19 May, 6pm

In April 2017 The Photography Room's Director Sean Davey stumbled across a set of black and white photographic prints at an op-shop in Yass, New South Wales. Tucked away in a corner of this op-shop, standing up between a table and a set of drawers, was a wonderful set of photographs that demanded attention.

Realising that the photographs were gelatin silver prints, Sean looked a little closer at the collection and was struck by the beauty of what he had found. The photographs were stamped with the name Maurice Weidemann, and depict theatre productions from Canberra in the 1980's. On the reverse of many of the prints is the name of the production, the location, date and even some of the actors' names who star in the images. Sean purchased 12 of the 20 photographs that were there. This series of photographs celebrates the artistic sensibilities of the late Maurice Weidemann, while showcasing Canberra's rich artistic heritage.