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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.

Professor Peter Doherty

2001
Rick Amor

oil on canvas (frame: 92.4 cm x 77.8 cm, support: 79.8 cm x 65.5 cm)

Peter Doherty AC (b. 1940), immunologist, shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1996 for his discoveries about how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells. At the ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research from 1973 to 1975, Doherty and his Nobel co-recipient Rolf Zinkernagel investigated components of the immune system known as 'killer T-cells', paving the way for a better understanding of organ rejection after transplants and genetic susceptibility to disease. Since 1988 he has divided his time between the Immunology department at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Tennessee, and the Microbiology and Immunology department of the University of Melbourne. His reflective memoir, The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, was published in 2005 and his Light History of Hot Air in 2007. The Peter Doherty Institute, an infectious-diseases research centre in Melbourne, opened in 2014.

Rick Amor evokes Doherty's intensity and curiosity by placing his figure very close to the picture plane. The direct and serious style of his work is well matched to Doherty's unpretentious, straightforward and intelligent manner. The forthright portrait of the scientist was made over five sittings in Amor's Melbourne studio, at which the artist encouraged Doherty to move around, drink coffee, and generally 'be himself'.

Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2002
© Rick Amor

Artist and subject

Rick Amor (age 53 in 2001)

Professor Peter Doherty AC (age 61 in 2001)

Supported by

Marilyn Darling AC (30 portraits supported)

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.

David Malouf

'The person who is the writer'

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Australian author David Malouf discusses the creation of his portrait by artist Rick Amor.

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'Not your stereotypical scientist'

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Australian Nobel Prize winner, Professor Peter Doherty, provides some entertaining insights into his career and the science profession.

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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