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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.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

1932
Enid Fleming

cast plaster, patinated (including base: 46.0 cm x 25.0 cm depth 26.0 cm)

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith MC AFC (1897-1935) and Captain Charles Ulm (1898-1934) together founded Australian National Airways in 1930. During World War I, Kingsford Smith had served on the ground in Gallipoli, Egypt and France before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps and later the Royal Flying Corps, as a member of which he was awarded the Military Cross. He worked in England, America and Australia as a stunt flyer and joy-flight pilot, and then for WA Airways, before forming his own aviation company in 1924. Ulm became a partner in 1927, and the pair launched a series of important demonstration flights, together and separately setting a number of records. Kingsford Smith was world famous by 1930. Although his business fluctuated, his heroic achievements accumulated until he disappeared, probably near the coast of Burma, on an attempt at the Britain-Australia record.

Enid Fleming was a pupil of the sculptor Rayner Hoff at the East Sydney Technical College, during the period in which Hoff and a group of mainly female students were working on Sydney's Anzac Memorial. Fleming was never a professional artist, but she was a close friend of Kingsford Smith's, and made several portraits of him, as well as a bas-relief of the Southern Cross. In 1932, when this bust was made, Kingsford Smith was knighted for services to aviation, but in business he was almost back to where he started, selling joyflights at ten shillings a trip and establishing an ill-fated flying school. Enid Fleming lived in Sydney all her life, and although she gave up sculpture, she continued to produce art in various mediums for her own pleasure.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Sydney Airports Corporation 2001
© Estate of Enid Fleming

Artist and subject

Enid Fleming (age 24 in 1932)

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith MC AFC (age 35 in 1932)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Sydney Airports Corporation (3 portraits)

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.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett
Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett
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In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

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

The Wonder Years

Magazine article by Sarah Hill, 2001

Sarah Hill introduces the portrait busts of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm by Enid Fleming.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency