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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.

John Firth-Smith, 1974

Lewis Morley

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 30.5 cm x 40.2 cm, image: 27.8 cm x 36.7 cm)

John Firth-Smith (b. 1943) is a Sydney abstract painter. In the early 1960s he won a number of 'young artist' prizes for his paintings of yachts on Sydney Harbour, but by 1968 his work was becoming increasingly abstract, featuring large fields of opaque colour. Through the sixties, seventies and eighties he taught at various schools and institutions while exhibiting regularly and winning awards every two or three years. In 1974 he was the subject of a twenty-minute documentary on the ABC's Target programme, and his works were soon acquired by a number of corporate collections. In 1981 he completed the enormous commissioned project of 32 panels for the reception area of the ANZ Bank in Collins Place, Melbourne. Firth-Smith has travelled very widely and has lived and worked overseas for several periods. Still a successful artist, Firth-Smith is represented in most major Australian public galleries. This photograph was taken at his studio in Sydney during the years he was exhibiting at Gallery A.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2003.48

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Lewis Morley (age 49 in 1974)

John Firth Smith (age 31 in 1974)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Lewis Morley (49 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage
Lewis Morley, 2003 Sage

Myself and Eye

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

Magda Keaney speaks with Lewis Morley about his photographic career and the major retrospective of his work on display at the NPG.

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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.