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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.

Eugene Goossens

c. 1954
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (35.0 cm x 24.0 cm)

Sir (Aynsley) Eugene Goossens (1893-1962) was an English conductor, composer and violinist. Assistant conductor to Sir Thomas Beecham in London, he conducted in the USA for many years before coming to Sydney in 1945 to conduct for the ABC. Two years later he took on the dual roles of Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Conservatorium of Music. At that time the city's only concert venue was the Town Hall. Goossens lobbied Premier Joe Cahill to convene a group to press for an opera house, which was cautiously sanctioned by Cabinet in May 1955. By that time Goossens was acclaimed as a composer and was dramatically raising training and performance levels at the Conservatorium. He went abroad to study opera houses in 1955, but when he returned to Sydney diverse pornographic items were found in his luggage, and the press exposed his perverse infatuation with Rosaleen Norton, the 'witch of Kings Cross'. Fined £100, he resigned from his posts and went home to die sadly in England.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003

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 43 in 1954)

Sir Eugene Goossens (age 61 in 1954)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

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.

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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.

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