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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.

Charmed by the Rose

by Anthony Browell, 1 June 2004

Anthony Browell reminisces about meeting Rose Lindsay, the wife of Australian artist Norman Lindsay.

Rose Lindsay, 1970 Anthony Browell
Rose Lindsay, 1970 Anthony Browell

In 1971 I was a young man in a minivan, commissioned by Pol Magazine, for whom I was doing most of the portraits at that time, to photograph Rose, the wife of Norman Lindsay. I didn't do any research before the shoot, so I turned up at this large, leafy house in Woolwich, Sydney after lunch one day, not knowing what to expect.

I was shown into quite a large dining-room by the owner of the house, Rose's daughter Jane Glad, and left to set up the light (just one), and get ready, not having a clue who would come in the door. After a few minutes, an ancient lady was wheeled in, and I met the formidable Rose Lindsay.

A handsome, elegant lady, with a great presence and silent authority, wearing a dress she had made herself, like most of her clothes, and a fabulous chiffon scarf, which she normally wore to cover her elderly neck. On the wall behind her was The Lute Player, a painting done by Norman in 1924, in which Rose posed for all three women.

So how could I miss?

With such marvellous things in front of the camera, it was just a matter of getting the balance and the lighting right, and I had something good to take home, something I felt was very good.

Just before I started shooting, I said to Rose, "Mrs Lindsay, do you think you could please raise your head just a little?" Her answer, "Don't you talk to me like that, young man, just say " ROSE... PUT YOUR HEAD UP!"

I look at the picture now, it hangs in my house, and I realize how fortunate I've been to meet some of these true individuals, and to have had the opportunity to record some of them so rewardingly.

Pol Magazine ran the photographs I took that day, full-page, double page, and a couple of small ones also. I remember looking at the article, and feeling very warm inside.

Rose had bad arthritis, hence the wheelchair: she lived in Woolwich with her daughter Jane Glad's family from 1956 until her death in 1978, visiting Norman at Springwood for the weekends. Norman died in 1969.

Related people

Rose Lindsay

Related information

Portrait 12, June - August 2004

Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Peter Brew-Bevan, daguerreotypes, the exhibition Depth of Field, Ern McQuillan's photographs of sportspeople and more.

Jørn Utzon, 2000 Ole Haupt
Jørn Utzon, 2000 Ole Haupt
Jørn Utzon, 2000 Ole Haupt

With a Little Help from my Friends

Magazine article by Simon Elliott

The story behind the acquisition of the portrait of Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa, c. 1847 an unknown artist
Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa, c. 1847 an unknown artist
Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa, c. 1847 an unknown artist

Tiny Trace of a Colonial Giant

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow

At just 7.8 x 6.2 cm, the daguerreotype of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa is one of the smallest works in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho
Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho
Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho

Encounter at Kintore

Magazine article by Hari Ho

Photographer Hari Ho describes the creation of his portrait of Papunya Tula artist Makinti Napanangka.

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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.