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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.

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Sarah Engledow writes about Gordon and Marilyn Darling and their support for the National Portrait Gallery throughout its evolution.

More information on Uncommon Australians

Selected images

Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh. © Shane Pugh
Gordon and Marilyn Darling
Gordon and Marilyn Darling, 1994 Francis Reiss and June Orford. © Francis Reiss and June Orford
Jack Brabham
Jack Brabham, 1967 (printed 2012) Brian McInerney. © Brian McInerney
Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam, 1975 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley. © Bill McAuley
Jack Brabham
Jack Brabham, 2004 Julie Edgar. © Julie Edgar
John Howard and Janette Howard
John Howard and Janette Howard, 2000 Josonia Palaitis. © Josonia Palaitis/Copyright Agency, 2021
Andrew Sayers
Andrew Sayers, 2012 Mark Mohell. © Mark Mohell
Nick Cave
Nick Cave, 1999 Howard Arkley. © Estate of Howard Arkley. Licensed by Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art.
Sketch for Prime Minister Robert Menzies
Sketch for Prime Minister Robert Menzies, 1960 William Dobell. © William Dobell/Copyright Agency, 2021
Self portrait
Self portrait, late 1930s Sir William Dargie CBE. © Roger Dargie and Faye Dargie
Johnny O'Keefe
Johnny O'Keefe "A little bit louder now...", 1999 Ivan Durrant. © Ivan Durrant/Copyright Agency, 2021
Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman, 1999 Kerrie Lester. © Kerrie Lester/Copyright Agency, 2021
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor, 1999 Bill Leak. © Estate of Bill Leak
Eddie Mabo (after Mike Kelley's 'Booth's Puddle' 1985, from Plato's Cave, Rothko's Chapel, Lincoln's profile) No.3
Eddie Mabo (after Mike Kelley's 'Booth's Puddle' 1985, from Plato's Cave, Rothko's Chapel, Lincoln's profile) No.3, 1996 John Citizen. © Gordon Bennett Estate
Andy Thomas
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti + Campbell. © Montalbetti & Campbell
Nancy Wake - The White Mouse
Nancy Wake - The White Mouse, 2001 Melissa Beowulf. © Melissa Beowulf/Copyright Agency, 2021
Mick Dodson
Mick Dodson, 2010 Ricky Maynard. © Ricky Maynard
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally, 1987 Bernd Heinrich. © Bernd Heinrich
Sir Donald Bradman
Sir Donald Bradman, 1990 Bill Leak. © Estate of Bill Leak
Joe Darling (Joseph Darling, member of the 1896 Australian Cricket Team)
Joe Darling (Joseph Darling, member of the 1896 Australian Cricket Team) H Parker Rolfe
Victor Trumper
Victor Trumper, 1905 George Beldam, Sun Electric Engraving Company
Walter Lindrum OBE
Walter Lindrum OBE, c. 1932 Will Longstaff
Self portrait at easel
Self portrait at easel, 1960-1961 Fred Williams. © Fred Williams
The Movie Star (David Gulpilil)
The Movie Star (David Gulpilil), 1985 Tracey Moffatt AO. © Tracey Moffatt
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.
HV (Doc) Evatt
HV (Doc) Evatt, 1935 Arnold Shore. © Malcom K Shore
Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, 2000 Australian Tapestry Workshop, Christopher Pyett, Normana Wight, Merrill Dumbrell. © Australian Tapestry Workshop
Dr John Yu
Dr John Yu, 2004 Ah Xian. © Ah Xian
Marcia Langton
Marcia Langton, 2009 Brook Andrew, Trent Walter. © Brook Andrew
Professor Mandyam Srinivasan
Professor Mandyam Srinivasan, 2014 Sam Leach. © Sam Leach
Professor Peter Doherty
Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor. © Rick Amor
Elizabeth Blackburn
Elizabeth Blackburn, 2011 Hugh Hamilton. © Hugh Hamilton/Copyright Agency, 2021
Albert Namatjira
Albert Namatjira, 1958 Sir William Dargie CBE. © Roger Dargie and Faye Dargie
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN
Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber
Self portrait with gladioli
Self portrait with gladioli, 1922 George Lambert
Ron Castan AM QC
Ron Castan AM QC, 1995 Kate Gollings. © Estate of Kate Gollings
Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra
Colin Madigan and Robert Hughes, Canberra, 1982 (printed 2000) David Moore. © Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore
http://davidmoorephotography.com.au/
Bruce Dawe, Melbourne
Bruce Dawe, Melbourne, 1969 (printed 2000) David Moore. © Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore
http://davidmoorephotography.com.au/
Patrick White, Castle Hill, Sydney
Patrick White, Castle Hill, Sydney, 1963 (printed 2000) David Moore. © Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore
http://davidmoorephotography.com.au/
Yvonne Audette, Vaucluse, Sydney
Yvonne Audette, Vaucluse, Sydney, 1968 (printed 2000) David Moore. © Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore
http://davidmoorephotography.com.au/
Old Parliament House
Old Parliament House
National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
Geo Face Distributor
Geo Face Distributor, 2009 James Angus. © James Angus
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen. © Jiawei Shen
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka. © Anne Zahalka
Portrait of Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke (Sass & Bide)
Portrait of Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke (Sass & Bide), 2008 Deborah Paauwe. © Deborah Paauwe
Study for Portrait of W S Robinson
Study for Portrait of W S Robinson, 1952 William Dobell. © William Dobell/Copyright Agency, 2021

Related information

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm

Uncommon Australians

Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery

Previous exhibition, 1992

In 1988 philanthropists Gordon and Marilyn Darling decided to make an Australian portrait gallery a reality, overseeing the development of the 1992 touring exhibition Uncommon Australians.

Gordon Darling

by Jiawei Shen

Portrait story

Gordon Darling talks about how Jiawei Shen came to paint his portrait.

Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes

Marilyn Darling

by Anne Zahalka

Portrait story

Marilyn Darling talks about the creation of her portrait, and the photographic process.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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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 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