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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.

Patrick White, 1990

Rick Amor

woodcut on paper (sheet: 38.7 cm x 28.5 cm, image: 29.0 cm x 18.5 cm)

Patrick White (1912-1990), novelist and playwright, is the only Australian author to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1973). White was born in London to a family of Hunter River graziers and spent his youth between England and Australia, at one point returning from study abroad to work as a jackeroo. After a spell as an intelligence officer in North Africa during World War II, he returned to Australia with Manoly Lascaris. The two men were partners for fifty years, while White's friendships with many others were turbulent and often cruelly curtailed. White's novels include The Aunt's Story, The Tree of Man, Voss, Riders in the Chariot, The Vivisector, The Eye of the Storm, and The Twyborn Affair. Flaws in the Glass (1981) is his 'straight' autobiography. The later Memoirs of Many in One, by contrast, is a novel in which the elderly female protagonist - a kind of exuberantly cross-dressed White - delights in taunting her prim old friend, the character Patrick White.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2005.21

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Rick Amor (age 42 in 1990)

Patrick White (age 78 in 1990)

Donated by

Rick Amor (20 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.

Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes

Patrick White by William Yang

Portrait story

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes
Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes
Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes
Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes

Shane Maloney and Rick Amor

'Big canvas, small head'

Portrait story

Artist Rick Amor and author Shane Maloney relate divergent experiences of the creation of Shane's portrait.

Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor
Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor
Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor
Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor

Beautiful bones

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Sarah Engledow reflects on the shared life and writing of Dorothy Porter and Andrea Goldsmith.

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.