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Dr Sarah Engledow

Dr Sarah Engledow was appointed Historian at the National Portrait Gallery in 1999. Currently the Gallery’s second-longest-serving staff member, she’s written more than seventy articles on portraiture and curated the exhibitions The Look (2019), Primed (2019), So Fine: Contemporary women artists make Australian history (2018, with Christine Clark), The Popular Pet Show (2016), Arcadia sound of the sea (2014), Rick Amor: 21 portraits (2014), Paris to Monaro: Pleasures from the studio of Hilda Rix Nicholas (2013), White, Whiteley (2012), Jenny Sages: Paths to portraiture (2011), Idle Hours (2009), Open Air (2008, with Andrew Sayers and Wally Caruana), The World of Thea Proctor (2005, with Andrew Sayers), Australia and the Nobel Prize (2003) and the National Photographic Portrait Prizes of 2017, 2014 and 2011. In the Gallery’s first decade Sarah wrote most of the proposals for the acquisition of works for the collection, and many hundreds of biographical captions to portraits in the collection and temporary exhibitions. She has spoken frequently about portraiture in a very wide range of situations and forums. Recipient of the University Medal in English from ANU in 1995, she obtained her doctorate in Literature in 2003. She also holds an Associate Diploma in Fashion (Design). In the 1980s she worked in fashion retail, as a dressmaker and as a school sewing teacher. Born in Canberra Hospital, she has only ever lived in the adjoining suburbs of Yarralumla, Red Hill, Deakin and Hughes; has travelled infrequently and narrowly; and rarely reads books she hasn’t read before. She is the mother of two hale sons. Her interests include gardening; flower-arranging; and clipping her dog to resemble figures in Australian history, including Governor Phillip, Justice Windeyer and Billy McMahon.

Updated 2019