Living in the ’70s

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2016 by Gwendolen De Lacy
White girl at the zoo 1970s

White Girl at the Zoo, 1970s by Maggie Diaz

We are delighted to have Diaz photographs featured in this excellent exhibition now showing in Melbourne.

A summertime salon of photographs taken in Melbourne, city and suburbs, during the 1970s. Come and rediscover the Zeitgeist of that tumultuous decade – the people, politics, fun, fashion, and life-changing events. Images of Melbourne life in the city and suburbs 1970-1979 by noted photographers: Bruce Postle, John Casamento, Joyce Evans John Gollings, Maggie Diaz, Andrew Chapman, Peter Kelly, Glen O’Malley, Colin Abbott, Alan Attwood, Julie Millowick and more…

January 21st – February 14th, 2016


Level 2,  640 Bourke St
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia

TUESDAY to FRIDAY – 11am to 6pm
SATURDAY and SUNDAY – 11am to 4pm
+61 (0) 3 8589 0371



A Festive Moment

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2015 by Gwendolen De Lacy

Maggie with large pics

This year we launched the Maggie Diaz Prize for Women at Brightspace, St Kilda – Maggie’s neighbourhood and stomping ground for the past 50 years.

The question was always – will we be able to get Maggie up those stairs?

She refused to appear opening night, but on the very last day of the exhibition, she agreed to be carried into the space.

It was a magnificent moment and a real highlight of 2015. She sat in the projection room, watched her beloved slide show and once again gave commentary on her own commentary.  She met the MDP finalists and our spectacular team of sponsors and supporters.

So as this year comes to a close, we’d love to wish you all the best for the festive season and a happy and healthy New Year!

Thank you for your continued support and enjoy those little moments.  They are indeed, precious.

Best regards,

Gwen and Maggie


Maggie Diaz Prize – Your invitation!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2015 by Gwendolen De Lacy


Please click on this file to open your invitation!

We hope that you can join us for the announcement of the Diaz Prize winner and launch of Maggie Diaz Projects in her home town of St Kilda. Our 35 photographers will exhibit their work alongside Maggie and the winner announced on the night.  Guests will also have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award!

We also have sad news to share: The director of  Brightspace,  Martin Kantor, has passed away.  He was a delightful man, a photographer and passionate about the arts.  I know that he was very proud to be hosting this award, which was initiated by his dear friend and gallery manager, Kylie Greer.  We thank Martin for his vision and is trust in us, as we prepare for the event.  Our sincere condolences to Martin’s family, friends and the Brightspace community.

If for some reason you are unable to open this file, please email and we’ll send you all the details.

I won a prize with this guy…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2015 by Gwendolen De Lacy


I won a prize in Chicago with this guy…he had a wonderful face.  He’d go out with me and we’d spend all night looking for good backgrounds. 

[I Don’t Do Sweet, 2006]

It was the early 1950s and Maggie worked with Frank Wood in a jazz music store, while trying to get her professional photographic career off the ground.  She entered this photograph in a competition run by the Chicago Tribune newspaper and won.  This was to give her the momentum to start her professional life as Maggie Besson, photographer.

We encourage professional and emerging photographers to submit work for consideration to the inaugural prize in Maggie’s honour, to be launched with an exhibition of Maggie’s work ‘Maggie Diaz Projects’ at Brightspace Gallery in St Kilda.

Maggie Diaz Projects

Opens 3rd of September 2015.

Entries close 7th August, 2015

1st Prize, $5000

People’s Choice Award, $1000

The ‘blind’ selection of photographs will be made by our esteemed judging panel:

NAOMI CASS, Director Centre for Contemporary Photography

PONCH HAWKES, Celebrated Photographer

JEFF MOORFOOT, Creative Director, Ballarat Int. Foto Biennale


Maggie Diaz Projects – The Prize

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2015 by Gwendolen De Lacy

We are delighted to announce our partnership with Brightspace Gallery in St Kilda, who are hosting an exhibition of Diaz works taken in the Port Philip area; Maggie’s home for over five decades. Brightspace has also attracted a generous sponsor, Guilty Films, for the launch of a photographic prize in Maggie’s honour.

We are seeking entries from women of all ages, backgrounds and career levels.  Entrants should use available light and the winner will be announced at the opening of Maggie Diaz Projects – 3 Sept 2015.

See link below for further details!

E_maggiediazprize_ (2) go to

Hanoi Streets and Reveries – an exhibition celebration

Posted in Uncategorized on April 9, 2015 by Gwendolen De Lacy

Saturday 18th of April 2-4pm

Please join us to celebrate a fabulous guest photography exhibition featuring the work of old friends and Table for 18 regulars, the legendary Lin van Hek and Joe Dolce.  Lin and Joe were photographed by Maggie in the 1990s and have supported the Diaz project since the launch at La Mama 10 years ago.

Sumptuous snacks will be provided with drinks at bar prices.  Maggie and I look forward to catching up with you all at Graze on Grey @ 103 Grey Street, St Kilda.

RSVP to by Wednesday 15th of April

Joe’s ‘Hanoi Streets’ and Lin’s ‘Reveries’- a joint exhibition will run until the 1st of May, 2015.


Hanoi Streets

Birthday Girl

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2015 by Gwendolen De Lacy
The Hooded Terror 2

‘The Hooded Terror’ 1950s self portrait (c) Maggie Diaz 2015

Maggie turns 90 this week! To celebrate,  we are hosting a very casual drop in afternoon at Maggie’s home in St Kilda. 

 2-4pm on Sunday the 8th of March

There will be cupcakes and hopefully a viewing of ‘I Don’t Do Sweet’ at 3pm – for those of you who weren’t there to witness the first ever slide show in 2005.

Regular Maggie visitors will know where to come, but those who need more details, please comment below or email me at and I will send the address.  All welcome!

We are also proud to announce the following event in Canberra –  opening soon.  Please share with your friends and colleagues in Canberra.

OPENING 4PM SUNDAY 29TH OF MARCH, 2015 with a floor talk by Curator, Gwendolen De Lacy.

Maggie Diaz arrived in Australia on a one-way ticket in 1961, (a divorce gift from her Australian husband) and soon established herself as one of Melbourne’s leading commercial photographers. Known for her expertise in using available light, Diaz had a genius for capturing character and situation. Dating back to Chicago in the 1950s, her work is also marked by the contrast between the glamorous commercial world and those outside of society with whom she felt a connection. ‘I Don’t Do Sweet’ focuses on the women and girls in the Diaz Collection: strong, composed, defiant and preferably not smiling. It is dedicated to Maggie’s daughter Laurie – the little red head who was adopted out via a baby broker in 1957 – lost because Diaz felt she had nothing to offer a child and life as a single, professional woman, could not involve motherhood. Largely unrecognized until her 80th birthday in 2005, 90 year old Diaz’s archive is held by the State Library of Victoria and her work has been acquired by the National Library of Australia, The National Gallery of Australia and private collections around the world.

Manning Clark House Gallery:

10am–3pm Tuesday to Sunday, during exhibitions, or by arrangement, or phone us

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