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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.

George Johnston, Fleet Street, London

c. 1952 (printed 2000)
David Moore

gelatin silver photograph on paper (42.4 cm x 28.2 cm)

George Johnston (1912-1970), writer, joined the Melbourne Argus as a cadet reporter and became its war correspondent during World War II. He married, and had a daughter, but in 1946 he began an affair with a colleague, the writer Charmian Clift. They were both sacked, and Johnston joined the Sydney Sun, publishing two novels in 1948. The couple moved to London, then Greece, where he wrote the semi-autobiographical My Brother Jack (1964). When the family returned to Australia, he wrote its sequel, Clean Straw for Nothing (1969). Both novels won the Miles Franklin Award. He began work on the final volume of the projected trilogy, but he had twice undergone lung surgery, and in July 1969 Clift committed suicide. Johnston died the following year. The incomplete third volume, A Cartload of Clay, was published posthumously in 1971.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
The series 'David Moore: From Face to Face' was acquired as a gift of the artist and with financial assistance from Timothy Fairfax AC and L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2001

Artist and subject

David Moore (age 25 in 1952)

George Johnston OBE (age 40 in 1952)

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

The Gordon Darling Foundation (36 portraits supported)

Related information

Little faces

10:30am, Wed 26 May – Fri 25 Jun

Little faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

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.

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

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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