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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.

Sydney Ancher, c. 1962

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper

Sydney Ancher (1904-1980), architect, graduated from Sydney Tech College in 1930. Winning the Board of Architects of New South Wales Travelling Scholarship enabled him to work and travel in England and Europe, where he absorbed the Modernist ideas of the Bauhaus group. In 1945 he won the Sulman Medal for his own house in Killara, and the following year he founded one of Sydney's major architectural firms, Ancher, Mortlock, Murray and Woolley. In 1959 Sir John Overall appointed the firm to design public housing for the National Capital Development Commission with Ancher, then recognised as one of Sydney's leading architects, in charge. His Northbourne Housing Group was completed in 1962 and dramatically photographed by Dupain, who worked for the NCDC in 1963. Ancher's only large medium density housing design, the complex along the arterial approach to the city remains Australia's leading example of public housing constructed according to Bauhaus principles.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2003.72

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 51 in 1962)

Sydney Ancher (age 58 in 1962)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Donated by

Rex Dupain (15 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.

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.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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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.