• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6005

Morris, Gwendolyn

(1904 – 1993)
  • Born 17 January, 1904, South Australia Australia
  • Died 31 December, 1993, South Australia Australia
  • Occupation Professional photographer


Gwendolyn Morris was known for the photographs she created in the Pictorialist style, as well as for her architectural photographs.


Gwendolyn Morris was born on 17 January 1904, in South Australia, into a wealthy family. Her father was Hugh Allan Morris and her mother May Gwendolyn Russell. The family travelled to England in 1923 where they stayed for six to seven months, travelling and sightseeing, and then returned to Australia.

As a young adult Morris would travel to England again, this time staying for a year, attending the London Polytechnic, where she studied photography. She was offered a job with the BBC at the Savoy Hill studios, where her work entailed photographing presenters, printing and enlarging prints for the Radio Times and The Listener.

During her spare time she wandered through London, taking her own photographs of the architecture, Covent Garden, The Strand and Trafalgar Square. Two of her well-known photographs – Cleopatra’s Needle and Adelphi Arches – were photographed at night. The architectural forms are engulfed by darkness and are only lit in small places by the dim street lighting, creating a mysterious ambience.

Her photographs were included in the catalogues of the Adelaide Camera Club. The Art Gallery of South Australia purchased some of her photographs in 1926 (this was the first State Gallery to add photography to its collection).

She married James Wilmot Griffiths and moved to Berkshire, where she had three children. They moved back to Adelaide for a number of years after the war, but returned to England until her husband retired in 1966.

Morris was also a keen flower arranger and studied under Constance Spry in England. She went on to become a leader of the ‘Flower Ladies’ at the Lyceum Club in Adelaide.


Art Gallery of South Australia



  • 1920 - 1930
  • 2007 - 2008

    Gwendolyn Morris’s work featured in A Century in Focus: South Australian Photography, 1840s-1940s

  • 1981 - 1981

    Gwendolyn Morris’s work featured in Australian Women Photographers 1840-1950


Published resources

  • Exhibition Catalogue
    • Australian Women Photographers 1840-1950, 1981
  • Book
    • Australian Women Photographers 1840 - 1960, Hall, Barbara and Mather, Jenni, 1986
    • A century in focus: South Australian photography, 1840s-1940s, Robinson, Julie, 2007
  • CD Rom
    • Dictionary of South Australian Photography, 1845-1915 [electronic resource], Noye, Robert J., 2007