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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.

Patrick White, 1987

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 42.4 cm x 39.5 cm)

Patrick White (1912-1990), novelist and playwright, is the only Australian author to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1973). White was born in London to a family of Hunter River graziers and spent his youth between England and Australia, at one point returning from study abroad to work as a jackeroo. After a spell as an intelligence officer in North Africa during World War II, he returned to Australia with Manoly Lascaris. The two men were partners for fifty years, while White's friendships with many others were turbulent and often cruelly curtailed. White's novels include The Aunt's Story, The Tree of Man, Voss, Riders in the Chariot, The Vivisector, The Eye of the Storm, and The Twyborn Affair. Flaws in the Glass (1981) is his 'straight' autobiography. The later Memoirs of Many in One, by contrast, is a novel in which the elderly female protagonist - a kind of exuberantly cross-dressed White - delights in taunting her prim old friend, the character Patrick White.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003
© Rex Dupain and the Estate of Max Dupain

Accession number: 2003.27

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 76 in 1987)

Patrick White (age 75 in 1987)

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.

Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980

Listomania

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Sarah Engledow describes the fall-out once Brett Whiteley stuck Patrick White’s list of his loves and hates onto his great portrait of the writer.

Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes

Patrick White by William Yang

Portrait story

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


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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.