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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.

Nora Heysen

1995
Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 36.7 cm x 45.6 cm)

Nora Heysen, AM (1911-2003), fourth child of South Australian landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen, grew up in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. From 1926 to 1930 she studied at the School of Fine Arts in Adelaide under F Millward Grey. In 1930 her work was acquired by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Her first solo exhibition was held in Sydney three years later. In 1934 she travelled to London with her family, and remained in Europe until 1937 studying and painting. When she returned to Australia she returned briefly to Adelaide and before moving to Sydney, where she lived for the rest of her life. In 1938 she became the first woman to win the Archibald Prize, and in late 1943 she became the first woman to be appointed as an Australian war artist. Commissioned to depict the women’s war effort in the air force, the navy and the army, she completed more than 170 works of art before being discharged from service in New Guinea in 1946. While in New Guinea she met a doctor, Robert Black, whom she later married. Following her discharge from war service she went to London, returning to Sydney in 1948. She continued to paint, exhibit and travel with her husband. Her works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, the National Library of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and several state galleries.

Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Greg Weight (age 49 in 1995)

Nora Heysen AM (age 84 in 1995)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 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.

Greg Weight
Greg Weight
Greg Weight
Greg Weight

Greg Weight

'If you've ever been in love, you will know how to be a photographer'

Portrait story

Greg Weight on working with Jiawei Shen, and starting out as a photographer.

Nora Heysen

'This peaceful spot'

Portrait story

Australian artist, Nora Heysen, discusses her childhood and the development of her career.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency