Bourke Street from Parliament House, February 1967 1967


Registration number





Bourke Street from Parliament House, February 1967

Production date



type-C gelatin print on fibre-based black and white paper

Dimensions (H x W x D)

38 x 27 cm

Credit line

City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
© Estate of Mark Strizic


Mark Strizic, Bourke Street, Historical city views, Australian photography, streets, people, 1967


Mark Strizic (1928–2012) arrived in Australia in 1951, part of the wave of postwar migrants arriving from Eastern Europe. This renowned Australian photographer studied not his chosen art form but rather physics and geology in Zagreb, in the former Yugoslavia. Strizic picked up the camera after arriving in Melbourne, purchasing this from a pharmacy as a means to explore his new home environment. He became a commercial photographer in 1957, building his reputation primarily as an architectural and industrial photographer in an era of intense urban development. He soon became associated with a coterie of Melbourne modernists, including Robin Boyd, Schulim Krimper and fellow photographers Athol Shmith and Wolfgang Sievers. Often framed by his progressive social and political concerns, his work is overwhelmingly sympathetic with modernist ideals: humanist, rational, spare.

The Art and Heritage Collection holds around 40 photographic works by Strizic, almost all of which document the streets, river and life of mid-century Melbourne in expressive monochrome. Many of these works came into the collection through direct engagement with the artist in 2005. Taken from the steps of the Victorian Parliament, looking west down Bourke Street, this work gestures at a confidence in the southern capital, which just four years earlier stepped onto the international stage by hosting the 1956 Olympic Games. Bathed in forgiving evening light, the scene is both quiet and brimming, with a youthful optimism and sense of anticipation about it.