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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.

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Dame Mary Gilmore

1961
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image: 45.8 cm x 39.5 cm)

For the last three decades of her life, Dame Mary Gilmore DBE (1865–1962) occupied a flat in Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, and was 'often to be met where writers, painters and anyone following the arts are congregated'. The distinguished poet, journalist, humanitarian and social reformer also occupied an elevated position in Sydney's cultural and intellectual life, making her someone of much interest to portraitists. Between 1928 and 1961 she sat for eleven Archibald Prize entries to artists including Adelaide Perry (1928), Joshua Smith (1943 and 1948), Louis Kahan (1960) and William Dobell (1957).

A leading Australian photographer of his era, Max Dupain established his reputation in the 1930s with portraits for magazines such the Home and his strikingly composed and dramatically lit images of musicians, dancers and fellow artists. After the war, Dupain's portrait style became more spontaneous, as demonstrated in this photograph of the 96-year-old woman-of-letters, captured as if in mid-sentence.

Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2003
© Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2022

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

Max Dupain OBE (age 50 in 1961)

Dame Mary Gilmore DBE (age 96 in 1961)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

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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