Go to the site map page Go to the search page Go to the contact us page To to the Government Portal www.govt.nz Go to the top of the Page


Beijing 1957-1959, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Beijing. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa

Brake was one of a small number of Western photographers who gained access to China in the 1950s. He went there for three months in 1957, and again in 1959.

As citizens of the United States and its aligned nations could not secure visas to enter China, Brake’s photographs were eagerly snapped up by international magazines.

They were mainly of China’s leader Mao Zedong and political parades in Beijing, although he also took many photographs of everyday scenes.

But there seemed to be little interest in publishing images of daily life at a time when the USA and China regarded each other with mutual apprehension and hostility.

© Copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.