American born, Maggie Diaz was a trailblazer for Australian women photographers. Diaz arrived in Melbourne alone and on a one-way ticket in 1961 and soon established herself as one of our leading commercial photographers. No small feat for a time when women were placed firmly in front of the camera, prompting The Age newspaper of 1964 to report that ‘A series of photographs which form part of the interior design of the new 3AW studios in the Southern Cross Plaza are the work of a woman.’
Diaz soon became recognised for her use of available light and her love of capturing Melbourne’s artistic and everyday life. She exhibited with well-known contemporaries Wolfgang Sievers and Mark Strizic whilst also working commercially for Clemenger Advertising Agency. Diaz went on to capture the essence of Melbourne's artistic and wider community over four decades.
Diaz’s work: most of which had been hidden away in boxes and drawers her entire career, has now exhibited widely with the collaboration of her curator Gwen de Lacy. She has appeared on TV and radio arts programs, and has been recognised as a national treasure in Victorian parliament. The National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, and National Library of Australia hold collections of her work. The State Gallery of Victoria holds her entire photographic archive.