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Victor and Loti Smorgon
, 1995 (printed 2001)

by Kate Gollings

gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned (sheet: 60.5 cm x 50.3 cm, image: 50.5 cm x 39.3 cm)

Victor Smorgon AC (1913-2009), industrialist and philanthropist, was the chairman of Smorgon Consolidated Industries. Smorgon emigrated to Australia from the Ukraine in 1927, and ran a kosher butchery with his two brothers in Lygon St, Carlton. Over the ensuing decades they built a vast family business empire encompassing steel, meat, paper, plastics, forestry and commercial property. In 1937, at the East Melbourne Synagogue, Victor married Loti Kiffer (later Loti Smorgon AO, who died in 2013); throughout their long marriage, they were amongst the country’s most generous philanthropists. Their enormous contributions to a wide range of medical and arts institutions in Australia include the Smorgon outpatients’ wing at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital; the Loti and Victor Smorgon Gift of Contemporary Australian Art to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and the Loti and Victor Smorgon Gallery of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. For some years running, the family has been listed as Australia’s most prosperous; the Smorgons’ four daughters, who have fifteen children between them, have perpetuated the family tradition of philanthropy.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2001
Accession number: 2001.32