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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.

Portrait photograph of David McNicoll, 1987

Anthony Buckley & Constantine Ltd

photograph on canvas lining (100.0 cm x 75.0 cm)
Image not available (NC)

David Ramsay McNicoll CBE (1914-2000) was editor-in-chief of Sir Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press from 1953 to 1972, and wrote an immensely popular column for the Bulletin magazine from 1972 to 1999. In 1947, after a five-month stint as a war correspondent accompanying General Patton's Third Army and covering the liberation of Paris, McNicoll took on the controversial 'Town Talk' column for Sydney's Daily Telegraph. It was the first regular front-page column to appear in an Australian newspaper and from 1947 to 1953 McNicoll become an indispensable man about town, a 'prince of Sydney'. Known as 'Dapper Dave', he later interviewed Juan Peron, Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2001

Accession number: 2001.6

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Anthony Buckley & Constantine Ltd (age 36 in 1987)

David Ramsey McNicoll CBE (age 73 in 1987)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Donated by

L. Gordon Darling AC, CMG (6 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.

Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes

Gordon Darling

by Jiawei Shen

Portrait story

Gordon Darling talks about how Jiawei Shen came to paint his portrait.

L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen

Portrait of a patron

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

A new painting by Jiawei Shen captures the vision and resolve of the Gallery's founder, L. Gordon Darling AC CMG.

Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva

Darling Portrait Prize

Previous exhibition, 2020

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

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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.