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Barbara Robison
, 1935

by Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 52.3 cm x 39.2 cm, image: 30.0 cm x 36.2 cm)

Barbara Robison (b. 1900) was a young Sydney identity. This photograph appeared in Max Dupain's first photo spread in the Home magazine in November 1935, soon after Dupain had written an article about Man Ray for the same magazine. 'Experiments in Portraiture by Max Dupain' featured a photograph of Hera Roberts developed in 'a cunning blending of positive and negative' alongside this picture of Miss Robison, which was captioned: 'The rise and fall of tone that gives the delicate modelling of this exquisite face are so imperceptible in their transition and the whole conception so medieval in character that, as a portrait, it would seem to have come under the supervision of Botticelli.' The Home of December 1936 reported that Miss Robison, while 'interested in designing and drawing and acting', 'denies the rumour that she has been engaged to understudy Merle Oberon on the screen'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.76