Objects in the studio
In the mid-1960s, Brake began taking studio photographs of cultural and historic objects – items typically seen in museums.
The first were the Roman and Egyptian items he photographed for his Life magazine stories on these ancient civilisations. Then came a series of books on Asian art objects, such as The sculpture of Thailand (1972).
In the 1970s and 1980s, Brake became known for his photographs of New Zealand contemporary craft objects and taonga Maori. In these images – taken for books such as Art of the Pacific (1979) and Craft New Zealand (1981) – Brake used a high-contrast, dramatically lit style reminiscent of his early studio portraits.