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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.

Designing the modern world

Walter Gropius was the visionary founder of the Bauhaus movement. Harry Seidler trained under him in the United States, subsequently introducing modernist architectural design principles to Australia, to great acclaim.

In Walter Gropius, Harry Seidler found an educator with a shared passion for contemporary design.  Gropius established the Bauhaus school in Germany, which envisioned a union of art and design through active engagement with materials. Following an education that included a pivotal stint under Gropius at the Harvard School of Design, Austrian-born Seidler came to prominence in Australia after designing a modernist home in Sydney for his parents, who had migrated to the city in 1946. Seidler was subsequently commissioned to create a slew of modernist buildings in Sydney and Canberra, winning multiple design and architecture awards in the process. In his portrait of the pair, influential modernist photographer Max Dupain conveys a sense that we are interrupting a conversation, with the striking design of the background panelling hinting at its subject.

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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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Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

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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 both past and present.

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

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency