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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.

Jenny Sages, 1995

Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.4 cm x 40.4 cm, image: 44.4 cm x 36.5 cm)

Jenny Sages (b. 1933), born to Russian Jewish parents in Shanghai, came to Australia with her family in 1948. After cursory art studies at East Sydney Technical College she attended Franklin School of Art, New York. Having returned to Sydney and married Jack Sages, between 1955 and 1984 she worked as a freelance illustrator and travel writer for books and fashion magazines including Vogue Australia. A specialist in the medium of encaustic, from 1985 Sages has worked full time in a studio atop her home in Carlotta Road, Double Bay; she has had regular solo exhibitions since 1988. Her portrait of Emily Kngwarrey was the first work purchased for the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in 1998. From 2010 to 2013 an expanded iteration of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Jenny Sages: Paths to Portraiture toured to Tweed, Towoomba, Mackay, Burnie and Mosman. Sages won the Portia Geach Award in 1992 and 1994 and the Wynne Prize in 2005, and has been a finalist for the Archibald Prize twenty times (1990, 1993-2009, 2011-12); her 2000 and 2001 Archibald Prize entries were highly commended by the Trustees and the affecting self-portrait of the artist in widowhood, After Jack, was People’s Choice in 2012. She last entered the Prize in 2013 with a portrait of Sarah Engledow, which was hung in the Salon des Refusés. The National Portrait Gallery has her portraits of Emily Kngwarrey, Helen Garner, Kate Grenville, Irina Baronova and Nancy Borlase and Laurie Short. Her most recent exhibition, Lest I forget, showed at her long-term gallery, King Street Gallery on William, in October-November 2018.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Greg Weight

Accession number: 2004.76

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 49 in 1995)

Jenny Sages (age 62 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.

Making Stories video: 3 minutes
Making Stories video: 3 minutes
Making Stories video: 3 minutes
Making Stories video: 3 minutes

Kate Grenville

'Making Stories'

Portrait story

Australian writer Kate Grenville discusses her career and portrait by Jenny Sages.

Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000
Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000
Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000
Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000

Paths to portraiture

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

The life and art of Australian artist Jenny Sages is on display in the exhibition Paths to Portraiture.

We would like to thank our partners.
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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.