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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.

Barbara Robison

1935
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (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

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 24 in 1935)

Barbara Robison (age 35 in 1935)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Donated by

Rex Dupain (15 portraits)

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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