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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Graeme Murphy AM

1977 (printed 2002)
Lewis Morley

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 30.3 cm x 40.3 cm, image: 28.1 cm x 36.0 cm)

Graeme Murphy AO (b. 1950), choreographer and dancer, was the co-artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company for three decades. At fourteen he was the youngest male dancer to be accepted into The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne; he commenced with The Australian Ballet three years later and choreographed his first ballet, Ecco le Diavole, in 1971. After dancing with the Royal Ballet in England and Les Ballets Félix Blaska in France, he was appointed artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company (then known as The Dance Company NSW) in 1976, helping it to become one of Australia's most successful dance companies. In 2001 Murphy was presented with a Helpmann Award for Body of Work: A Retrospective. Murphy retired from the Sydney Dance Company in 2007 after creating a repertoire of more than 50 works. Over the years he has also created productions for companies including Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, Shanghai Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Murphy continues to direct and choreograph productions, including Turandot (2019) and The Merry Widow (2021) for Opera Australia.

Lewis Morley established his reputation as one of the key British photographers of the 1960s and is known for his iconic image of a nude Christine Keeler straddling an Arne Jacobsen chair. He migrated to Sydney in 1971. This photograph was taken during Murphy's first year as artistic director of The Dance Company.

Gift of the artist 2002. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Lewis Morley Archive LLC

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Lewis Morley (age 52 in 1977)

Graeme Murphy AO (age 27 in 1977)

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.

Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy
Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy
Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy
Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy

Reflections on a Hologram

Magazine article by Sam Bowker, 2005

Sam Bowker examines Paula Dawson's Mirror, Mirror - a holographic portrait of Graeme Murphy.

Lewis Morley
Lewis Morley
Lewis Morley
Lewis Morley

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.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency