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George Johnston, Fleet Street, London, c. 1952 (printed 2000)

David Moore

gelatin silver photograph

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 (three of Johnston's children were also to die prematurely). 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 by gift of the artist and financial assistance from Timothy Fairfax AC and L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2001

Accession number: 2001.94

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

David Moore (age 25 in 1952)

George Johnston OBE (age 40 in 1952)

Subject professions


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