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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.

Hearts and craft

It’s said that good things come to those who wait, and the eventual relationship of two of Australia’s greatest sculptors seems to back the claim.

1 Robert Klippel, 1993. 2 Rosemary Madigan, 1992. Both Greg Weight. © Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2021.

In 1947 Rosemary Madigan and Robert Klippel were part of a remarkable cohort of students of sculpture at the East Sydney Technical College.  In love, as in art, each took the path less travelled, and it took nearly 30 years for their friendship to morph into what became an enduring creative and romantic union.  Having initially taken divergent paths in travel and life, the artists reconnected in 1973 and began a professional and personal relationship that lasted until Robert’s death in 2001. Greg Weight’s photographs capture the artists in their studios, accompanied by works that characterise their respective oeuvres of conceptual materialism and classical modernism.  In 2018 the National Gallery of Australia displayed Torso (1948) by Madigan beside Harry Body (1946) by Klippel, a sculptural pairing that delighted Rosemary when she visited the exhibition.

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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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© 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