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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.

Bernard Smith

Arthur Boyd

oil on canvas laid on board

Bernard Smith (b. 1916) is responsible for the modern discipline of the study of Australian art. An influential teacher and cultural commentator, Smith established his name in 1945 with the publication of Place, Taste and Tradition, one of the first books to examine the history and evolution of Australian art. Other publications include the widely acclaimed European Vision and the South Pacific (1960) and Modernism's History: A Study in Twentieth Century Art and Ideas (1998). Smith joined the Department of Fine Art at Melbourne University in 1955. He was Power Professor of Contemporary Art and Director of the Power Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Sydney from 1967 until he retired in 1977.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of an anonymous donor 2002

Accession number: 2002.6

Currently not on display

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Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd
Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd
Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd
Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd

Arthur as Alyosha?

Magazine article by Patrick McCaughey, 2015

Patrick McCaughey explores a striking Boyd self portrait.

Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969
Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969

Through blue eyes

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Works by Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan bring the desert, the misty seashore and the hot Monaro plains to exhibition Open Air: Portraits in the landscape.

Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd
Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd
Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd
Self portrait, 1945-46 Arthur Boyd

Mysterious eyes

Arthur Boyd portraits from 1945

Previous exhibition, 2016

Boyd’s self-portrait at age 25 is joined by his equally emotive portraits of those around him.

We would like to thank our partners.
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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.