Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Menu

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), artist, was born to Russian Jewish parents in Shanghai and 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. Following a trip to the Kimberley in 1983, Sages decided to become a full-time artist, concentrating on portraits, abstract and landscape works. A specialist in the medium of encaustic wax, delicately coloured with powdered pigments, since 1985 she has worked in a studio atop her home in Carlotta Road, Double Bay; she has had regular solo exhibitions since 1988. Her portrait of Emily Kngwarreye, the first work purchased for the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in 1998, was painted following her annual trips to Central Australia. From 2010 to 2013 an expanded iteration of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Jenny Sages: Paths to Portraiture toured to Tweed, Toowoomba, 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, 2011–2012); 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 Kngwarreye, Helen Garner, Kate Grenville, Irina Baronova, and Nancy Borlase and Laurie Short. Her solo exhibition, Lest I forget, showed at her long-term gallery, King Street Gallery on William, in 2018.

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)

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.

Kate Grenville

'Making Stories'

Portrait story

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

Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC

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.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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