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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.

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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.

Gift of John Fairfax Holdings Ltd 2002. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

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

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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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