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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.

Dame Edna Everage, 1982

Lewis Morley

direct positive colour photograph (sheet: 78.3 cm x 50.8 cm, image: 61.9 cm x 41.8 cm)

Barry Humphries AO (b.1934) created Mrs Edna Everage in 1955. Named after Humphries's first nanny, the Moonee Ponds housewife was launched in a sketch depicting the difficulties facing a Melbourne hostess in the reception of 'foreign visitors'. Humphries scathingly represented the particularity of the bourgeois Melbourne suburbs through Everage's painfully selfconscious language, drawing fine distinctions between terms such as 'sofa' and 'lounge' and 'garden' and 'yard'. Accordingly, he was at first unsure whether the character would translate to overseas audiences. However, over the years Everage's parochial vulgarity has found increasingly flamboyant international expression in shows such as Housewife, Super-star; Edna, the Spectacle; and Dame Edna the Royal Tour. Confusingly, Everage has recently acted in the role of Claire Otoms in the US TV series Ally McBeal.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2002.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Lewis Morley (age 57 in 1982)

Barry Humphries (age 48 in 1982)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Lewis Morley (49 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.

Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage

Myself and Eye

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

Magda Keaney speaks with Lewis Morley about his photographic career and the major retrospective of his work on display at the NPG.

Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh

No Laughing Matter

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The biographical exhibition of Barry Humphries was the first display of its kind at the National Portrait Gallery.

Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley

Bare

Degrees of undress

Previous exhibition, 2015

Bare: Degrees of undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. 

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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.