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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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Phone +61 2 6102 7000
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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 both past and present.

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