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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.

Sir Warwick Fairfax, 1981

Bryan Westwood

oil on canvas (frame: 138.6 cm x 103.0 cm, sight: 130.5 cm x 94.7 cm)

Sir Warwick Oswald Fairfax (1901-1987), grandson of Sarah and James Fairfax, was the only son of Sir James Fairfax, who had become a partner in the company in the 1880s. Sir Warwick began work with the company in 1923, when he filed reports on conditions in post-war Germany for the Sydney Morning Herald. He became managing director of John Fairfax and Sons in 1930. In 1956 it was listed as a public company, with the Fairfax family retaining nearly half the shares. While the Herald was regarded by the family as the 'crown jewels', at the time it was listed as a public company other publications included the evening Sun, the Sunday Sun-Herald and the Australian Financial Review, and the company also had significant investments in radio and television. This portrait and that of Sir Vincent Fairfax were painted to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of John Fairfax Holdings Ltd 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Bryan Westwood/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2002.84

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Bryan Westwood (age 51 in 1981)

Sir Warwick Oswald Fairfax (age 80 in 1981)

Subject professions

Media and communications

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.

Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood
Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood
Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood
Portrait of Brian Dunlop, c. 1972 Bryan Westwood

A quiet moment

Magazine article by Helene Ladomirska, 2006

As Bryan Westwood’s portrait of Brian Dunlop hangs adjacent to Brian Dunlop’s portrait of the philanthropist Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, we see the artist of one work as the subject of the other. 

James Oswald Fairfax, c. 1991 Bryan Westwood
James Oswald Fairfax, c. 1991 Bryan Westwood
James Oswald Fairfax, c. 1991 Bryan Westwood
James Oswald Fairfax, c. 1991 Bryan Westwood

The Fairfax Gift

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This article examines the portraits gifted to the National Portrait Gallery by Fairfax Holdings in 2003.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.