“This high-angle view of the casting yard shows the concrete segments for the roof of the Sydney Opera House. Danish architect Jorn Utzon won an international design competition to design the building. This image is originally from the analogue files of the Fox Photos news agency which, though based in London, covered world events. The print may have not made it to wide circulation at the time it was taken but is now published online for the first time and gives us an early glimpse as the mammoth project began.”
She's a beauty, that's for sure. It's no wonder that the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House is up there with the world's most iconic, most photographed buildings. But she's not just a pretty face – the Opera House has also been the focal point of some of the most defining cultural, political and social moments in Australia's history. So, to celebrate the 50th anniversary since the completion of Danish architect Jørn Utzon's creation, Getty Images has published a collection of rare photos of the House – photos that also capture significant moments in Sydney's and Australia's history.
The collection of 13 photos has been recovered from the Getty Images Archives, one of the oldest and most comprehensive privately-owned photographic archives in the world.
"We looked back across the vast troves of the Getty Images collections to help tell the story of this iconic landmark," says Bob Ahern, director of archive photography for Getty Images. “In doing so, we discovered images from the Archives that had been rarely seen before, from its early construction to its role as a cultural focal point in Australia.”
Below are each of the photos, with commentary from Ahern on their significance...