Located in the up-market St Collins Lane shopping complex in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, the new store is Leica’s 78th globally while the gallery space is one of 22 around the world; including in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Vienna, Milan and Singapore.
The Melbourne store and gallery were officially opened by the Chairman of Leica Camera AG, Dr Andreas Kaufmann, who was making his first visit to Australia and is the man largely responsible for the camera maker’s current renaissance.
Speaking at the opening, Dr Kaufmann commented, “It’s an exciting time for Leica – we’ve recently unveiled our new Leitz-Park complex in Wetzlar, Germany, which is home to pioneering technology development, research, art and culture; and we continue to innovate our renowned series of cameras, lenses and sports optics, while also expanding into the watch category. At Leica, we stand for visual enjoyment and lasting value, no matter our endeavour, and our new Melbourne presence does not waiver from this. It celebrates the art of photography”.
Also speaking at the opening, Ryan Williams – who is the Managing Director of Leica Camera Australia – said, “We launched our first Australian store in Sydney in December 2016, and its success is testament to the value of offering local spaces where visitors can fully immerse in the Leica brand and admire outstanding photography. Our new Melbourne site offers a full suite of services to customers – from exhibition viewings to Leica Akademie photography workshops, and the opportunity to experience our latest world-class Leica optics”.
The first exhibition at the new Leica Gallery features works by New York-based Magnum photographer, Bruce Gilden. It’s the first time Gilden has been exhibited in Australia, and the exhibition consists of 15 B&W street photographs Bruce shot, using his Leica M6, during a visit to Melbourne in 2011. It’s on display until 31 January 2019.
The Leica Store & Gallery Melbourne is open between 10.00am and 6.00pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Saturday; 10.00am to 7.00pm on Thursday and Friday, and 10.00am to 5.00pm on Sunday. The address is Shops 11-13, Level 1, St Collins Lane, 260 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000. Telephone (03) 9639 3402 or visit http://www.leica-store.com.au