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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Literary lovers’ life liaison

‘I was in love with a man and a mind’, wrote poet Judith Wright in her 1999 memoir Half a Lifetime.

Moving in Brisbane’s literary circles during the Second World War, Judith Wright met and began an affair with novelist and philosopher Jack McKinney. At the time, convention looked very unkindly upon a woman who was 23 years her (married) lover’s junior, but, defying social strictures, they made a home together in the rich Gold Coast hinterland. Their daughter Meredith, nurtured in this intellectual, literary hothouse, grew into a scholar, translator and writer. It was not until adulthood when she read her mother’s poetry and private letters that Meredith understood the extent of her parents’ all-encompassing physical, emotional and intellectual bond. The portrait The Family is an intimate, lively and affectionate portrait of the trio by close family friend and artist, Charles Blackman.

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

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© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency