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Sir James Reading Fairfax, 1898

Tom Roberts

oil on canvas laid on board (frame: 100.1 cm x 88.2 cm, sight: 73.0 cm x 60.5 cm)

James Reading Fairfax (1834–1919), son of Sydney Morning Herald founder John Fairfax (1804–1877), was the second Fairfax boy to join his father’s business. When he joined the company it became John Fairfax and Sons. Under the triumvirate of John, Charles and James Fairfax the Sydney Morning Herald developed from a small journal into one of the most influential and respected newspapers in the country. From the 1860s onward, James Reading Fairfax was instrumental in establishing a host of key charitable and cultural organisations in Sydney. A Director of AMP, the Bank of New South Wales and Burns, Philp and Co, he was also President of the Royal Sydney Golf Club, Commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and President of the Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales.


Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of John Fairfax Holdings Ltd 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2002.74

Currently on display: Gallery Four (Liangis Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Tom Roberts (age 42 in 1898)

Sir James Reading Fairfax KT (age 64 in 1898)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Donated by

Fairfax Media Limited (13 portraits)

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