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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.

John Fairfax

1873
Charles Summers

carrara marble (77.5 cm)

John Fairfax (1804-1877), newspaper publisher, was born in England. After leaving school at the age of twelve he was apprenticed to a printer and bookseller. In 1838 he immigrated to Sydney with his wife Sarah (née Reading). Three years later he and Charles Kemp purchased the seven-year old Sydney Herald, renaming it the Sydney Morning Herald the following year. With the purchase, Fairfax began a family association with the paper that would last for over five generations and nearly 150 years. No other newspaper in the world has been so long under one family's control and no other family in Australia has subsequently formed such a successful entrepreneurial dynasty. In 1853 John Fairfax bought Kemp out and went into partnership with his eldest son, Charles John Fairfax (1829-1863), who was followed into the business by his brother James Reading Fairfax (1834-1919).

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

Artist and subject

Charles Summers (age 48 in 1873)

Hon. John Fairfax MLC (age 69 in 1873)

Donated by

Fairfax Media Limited (13 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.

In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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