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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.

Betty Cuthbert, 2002

Andrew Daly

oil on canvas (frame: 106.0 cm x 71.5 cm, support: 103.0 cm x 68.5 cm)

Betty Cuthbert AC MBE (1938-2017), sprinter, was Australia’s leading gold-medal winning track and field athlete. In 1956 she set a women’s world record for the 200 metres at Moore Park, beating the record set by her compatriot Marjorie Jackson at the 1952 Helsinki Games. Cuthbert had tickets to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games as a spectator, but she attended as a competitor, earning the nickname the ‘Golden Girl’ from the Melbourne Argus when she won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. The 1958 Commonwealth Games, the 1960 Olympics and the 1962 Commonwealth Games went badly for her, but at the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 she won the 400m, making her only the second woman to have won four different track races. In 1969 she developed multiple sclerosis, and was a vigorous fundraiser for research into the disease. In 1998, Cuthbert was named a Living National Treasure; the Athletic Stadium at Homebush is named in her honour.

Former National Portrait Gallery Director Andrew Sayers once described Perth-based Andrew Daly as ‘an artist who makes a virtue of quietness’. Looking for a Western Australian artist to depict Cuthbert – who was living in Mandurah, near Perth, when this portrait was commissioned – Sayers selected Daly, feeling that the careful, domestic quality of his portraits would fit well with the sitter’s circumstances and personality.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2002
© Andrew Daly

Accession number: 2003.15.1

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Andrew Daly (age 38 in 2002)

Betty Cuthbert AM MBE (age 64 in 2002)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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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.

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Johnny O'Keefe "A little bit louder now...", 1999 Ivan Durrant

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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.