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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.

Slim Dusty and Dame Edna Everage, Carlton Hill Station, WA, 10 July 1993

John Elliott

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.5 cm, image: 49.5 cm x 39.0 cm)

Slim Dusty AO MBE (1927-2003) was Australia's most prolific recording artist, his travelling show an Australian tradition. He wrote his first song, 'The Way the Cowboy Dies', when he was ten years old, and styled himself 'Slim Dusty' at eleven. His song 'The Pub With no Beer' (1957) was the first international hit by an Australian recording artist, and was awarded Australia's first gold record. It remains the only 78rpm gold record in Australia. Dusty held more gold and platinum records than any other Australian artist, and won 32 Tamworth Country Music Festival Golden Guitars. In 1999 he was named Father of the Year and inaugural Senior Australian of the Year. His 100th album was released in July 2000. John Elliott photographed Dusty for decades. In 1993, he captured the singer with superstar Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) on a West Australian cattle station.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© John Elliott

Accession number: 1999.10

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Elliott (age 42 in 1993)

Slim Dusty OBE (age 71 in 1993)

Barry Humphries (age 59 in 1993)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott

Thousand mile stare

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

John Elliott talks about his photographic portrait practice, including his iconic image of Slim Dusty arm-in-arm with Dame Edna Everage.

Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh

No Laughing Matter

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The biographical exhibition of Barry Humphries was the first display of its kind at the National Portrait Gallery.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker

Depth of Field

Portrait Photography from the Collection

Previous exhibition, 2004

Over the last five years the National Portrait Gallery has developed a collection of portrait photographs that reflects both the strength and diversity of Australian achievement as well as the talents of our photographers.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


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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.