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Lenne, Lilias (1924 - ?)

Ardmona, Victoria, Australia
Professional photographer


Lilias Lenne specialised in darkroom work. She also photographed weddings, and is said to have been the first photographer to fully document weddings.


Lilias Lenne was the only daughter of Hugh Lenne from Ardmona (near Shepparton), Victoria, and Mrs I. Lenne of Hepburn Springs, Victoria. They lived at 'Guilford' house in Ardmona. Lenne was educated at Merton Hall in Melbourne, where photography was taught as a subject. After attending a photography demonstration given by a Kodak representative Merton Hall, Lenne became so inspired to follow a photographer's career path that she decided to leave school. She enrolled in a secretarial course at the Melbourne Technical College but decided that she would prefer to study photography instead. Lenne particularly enjoyed darkroom work.

After completing her studies in 1941, Lenne gained employment working as a printer at Athol Shmith's studio. She also found work with Ron Cowan.

Lenne joined the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) in 1942 and worked for the army as a printer. She also worked as a freelancer, photographing women and servicemen's families.

Following the war she opened up her own studio in Hepburn Springs, where she specialised in wedding photos and children's portraits. Lenne is thought to be the first photographer to fully document weddings. In 1949 she married the photographer Clement Stewart Scale in Melbourne. They couple opened a studio together in Footscray.

Lenne gave up her work at the studio after the birth of her first baby due to concerns about the health risks about infant exposure to darkroom chemicals. However, Lenne continued to take photographs, and also made Super 8 films and videos of her family.


Private Collections


1941 -
Active as a commercial photographer.

Sources used to compile this entry: Family Notices: College Chapel Wedding, The Argus, 5 July 1949, 10. pp,; Hall, Barbara and Mather, Jenni, Australian Women Photographers 1840 - 1960, Greenhouse Publications, Richmond, Victoria, 1986, 164 pp. Includes the following photographs by Lilias Lenne, Boy Sleeping, c.1940, p. 97; Man Preparing Meal at Campsite, c.1940, p.98; Sir Robert Helpmann and Katherine Hepburn, n.d., p. 99..

Anne Maxwell (with Morfia Grondas and Lucy Van)

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