Australian Women’s Tennis Team, 1938
Australian Women’s Tennis Team
Copyright remains with photographer's estate. Reproduction of this image must be approved by the copyright holder.Copyright
Copyright Estate of Athol Shmith.
"Whatever happens an Australian ladies team will generate great interest in England" (Adrian Quist in Table Talk, February 1938)
This portrait of the Australian women's tennis team, in their team uniforms, was made by renowned Melbourne photographer Athol Shmith. It shows the four team members (L to R) Eleanor 'Nell' Hopman, Dorothy Stevenson, Thelma Coyne (later Long) and Nancye Wynne (later Bolton). What this image highlights is the youth of these athletes and their excitement as talented but ordinary young women about to set out on a great overseas journey, representing their country .
In either 1938 or 1939 Shmith moved his studio premises from Fitzroy St Kilda to the Rue de la Paix building in Collins Street, Melbourne. Given that the women's tour departed in early 1938, it is tempting to suggest that this portrait was probably made in his St Kilda studio. However around this time Shmith had also done some advertising photography on location in the Myer Emporium department store. Alongside Shmith’s stamp, there is handwriting on the reverse of this photograph: ‘With the compliments of the Myer Emporium” linking this photograph (and Shmith) to that store as well, although the context is unknown.
While other copies of this image are known to exist, this copy is special having been autographed by all four team members.
The Australian women's tennis team 1938