Thomas Foster Chuck was born in London, England, and was educated at the Bluecoat School. Chuck arrived in Melbourne in 1863. He opened a studio in the Royal Arcade, Collins Street, Melbourne in 1864. This studio seems to have lasted until 1876. From 1865-67 he was also active in Daylesford, Victoria. From 1868-69 he had a studio on Octavia Street, St Kilda, Victoria. Chuck is well known for his six-foot mosaic of the explorers and early colonists of Victoria. In the succeeding years Chuck had several studios in Melbourne, however, in 1876 he sold his studio in Burke Street East, Melbourne, to Nicholas Caire and moved to Ballarat, where he continued in the photographic business. He died in 1898 and his business was continued by his son, Thomas Henry Chuck.
A portfolio containing five mounted prints of various sizes with descriptive letterpress by Marcus Clarke on separate sheets. The portfolio has been discarded due to flood damage.
An advertisement on the portfolio cover reads: 'With a view to furnishing the public with photographic copies of the best pictures in the Melbourne National Gallery, the Trustees decided on entrusting the task of reproducing them, under the supervision of M. Eugene Von Guerard, to a competent photographic artist of this city, and, in order, further to guard against imposition, and against photographs of copies of these pictures being sold as photographs of the originals, and also against imperfect or damaged copies, they have given instructions that each photograph shall be personally approved by M. Von Guerard, and shall be stamped with the seal of the trustees...the series shall be issued in monthly parts...there can be no doubt that the whole will form a highly interesting collection of pictures, and a most valuable adjunct to the drawing-room or library. Mr F.F. Bailliere, 104 Collins Street east, has been appointed by the trustees as sole publisher. In order to render these works of art attainable by all classes, the amount of subscription has been made as low as possible, namely 30s. per annum, or 2s. 6d. per part. The issue will be limited, as after the necessary number of copies have been printed, the negatives will be destroyed...'