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Hera Roberts
, 1936

by Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 31.6 cm x 27.1 cm, image: 23.6 cm x 21.4 cm)

Hera Roberts (life dates unknown) was a painter, illustrator, designer, commercial artist and milliner. During the 1920s and 30s she produced many covers for the Home magazine, and arranged photo spreads for the magazine promoting fashionable interiors and furniture. She designed a complete room for the Burdekin House exhibition of 1929, including furniture, and also designed furniture for her companion Sydney Ure Smith. Roberts was regarded as an authoritative commentator on matters of style. She was the student and cousin of the artist Thea Proctor, who was also part of the network of 'lady artists' who were able to make their careers in interior decorating and taste arbitration. Co-owner of a millinery shop in Pitt Street called 'June', Roberts was also one of the finest female fencers in the Southern Hemisphere, operating out of the Sydney Swords Club.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.77