Dr Martyn Jolly

Phd, University of Sydney, 2003
Honorary Associate Professor, School of Art and Design
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Art Criticism 190101
  • Art Theory 190103
  • Art History 190102
  • Lens Based Practice 190503
  • Art Theory And Criticism 1901

Research interests

Australian photography history

Contemporary Australian photographers

Australian photography curating

The magic lantern in Australia and the world

Australian photobooks

Australian new media and its antecedents in Australia 




Dr Martyn Jolly is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University School of Art and Design. With a background in photographic practice as well as photographic history and theory he has developed  theoretical and practice-led research into: the implications of digital media and its historical antecedents for society; the impacts of digital media on photography curating; Australian photobooks; early Australian multimedia of the post war decades; magic lantern technology in Australia and the world; and contemporary reenactment strategies.

His most significant publications ar the book Faces of the Living Dead: The Belief in Spirit Photography, published internationally by the British Library, Melbourne University Press, and Mark Batty in 2006 and Empire Early Photograhy and Spectactle: The Global Career of Showman Daguerreotypist J. W. Newland, published by Routledge in 2020 9co-auhteored with Dr Elisa deCourcy). In 2003 he was commissioned to design and build the ACT Bushfire memorial with two other artists, and his work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Canberra Museum and Gallery. He has developed performances for the National Portrait Gallery and other institutions

In 2011 he was a Sir Harold White Fellow at the National Library of Australia, and a Collection Scholar and Artist in Residence at the National Film and Sound Archive. In 2013 he received a $20,000 Australia Council Grant to research photography curating in Australia in the age of photo sharing. He is a Chief Invesitigator on the ARC Discovery Project Photography Curating in the Age of Photosharing, and lead Chief Investigator of the ARC Discovery Project Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World


Researcher's projects

Australian photography curating in the age of photo sharing, Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP15. 

Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World, Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP16. 

Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski: pioneer of collaboration in Australian new media

Reenactment in contemporary Australian art and museum practice



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  22 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers