Sir William Dargie
A Ninetieth Birthday Tribute
As a tribute to Sir William Dargie's singular contribution to Australian art and cultural institutions, and on the occasion of his birthday, The Australian War Memorial, Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery will mount exhibitions of his work between May and October. A number of works from the National Gallery of Australia will be included in the National Portrait Gallery display and a commemorative brochure to mark the celebrations has been produced.
On June 4 Sir William Dargie CBE will celebrate his 90th birthday. Sir William has had a significant and distinguished career as an artist and important role in the history of a number of Commonwealth institutions.
Dargie was an Australian official war artist during the Second World War in New Guinea, Greece, Crete, the Middle East and India and also worked closely on the development of the Australian War Memorial's first exhibition galleries.
Dargie has a special place in the history of Australian 20th century portraiture. He has won the Archibald prize a record eight times and painted scores of commissioned portraits.
Dargie has long been an advocate for a National Portrait Gallery. The National Portrait Gallery holds many of his best likenesses including Sir Macfarlane Burnet, Margaret Court and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm.
He has painted the official portraits of two Prime Ministers (Fadden and McEwen), Governors-General, Chief Justices of the High Court and the Queen for the Historic Memorial's Committee, the commissioner of portraits of significant holders of office in the Australian government. These are held by in the Parliament House Art Collection in Canberra.
Dargie served on the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board for twenty years. The CAAB was committed to the development and of a National Collection prior to the establishment of the Acquisitions Committee of the Australian National Gallery in 1973. He was a member or the first interim Council of the ANG and a member of the working groups set up to advise on the design, and brief for the building of the National Gallery.
Collection display galleries
The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia. Visitors to the Gallery can follow the development of portraiture from oil painting to digital media.Entry is free.
The Lives of Barry Humphries
The exhibition begins with Barry's childhood in Camberwell, Melbourne and chronicles his days as a struggling actor in Australia and England, his creation of characters including Barry McKenzie, Dame Edna Everage, Sandy Stone and Sir Les Patterson
From Brandt's early work that documents fixed social contrasts of pre-World War II life in Britain to his later experimentation with a surreal style, this exhibition spans 50 years of Brandt's far reaching career in an extensive assemblage of 155 vintage gelatin silver prints from the Bill Brandt Archive in London.