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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.

Marea Gazzard, 1966

Judy Cassab

oil on canvas (frame: 144.5 cm x 109.0 cm, support: 126.5 cm x 91.5 cm)

Marea Gazzard (1928–2013) trained in Sydney and London and emerged as one of England’s leading ceramicists in the 1950s. She returned with her husband to Australia in 1960; together they set about building a strikingly modern house in Paddington, while starting the first urban action group in Sydney to help save the area. In 1973, with fibre artist Mona Hessing, Gazzard was one of the first craftspeople invited to exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria. The exhibition, Clay and Fibre, generated much discussion about whether craft was art and accelerated acceptance of women artists. Through the seventies and eighties she exhibited large abstract works in a number of important group shows and held the first Chair of the Crafts Board of the Australia Council. During this period she turned for inspiration to fossils; Maltese idols; and Aboriginal dreamings and Central Australian landscapes. President of the World Crafts Council from 1980 to 1984, Gazzard was commissioned to create the bronze sculpture Mingarri: the Little Olgas (1988) which stands in the central Executive Courtyard of Parliament House, Canberra.

Judy Cassab AO CBE (b. 1920) is one of Australia’s most distinguished portrait artists. Born to Hungarian parents in Vienna in 1920, she studied at the Academy of Art in Prague and then in Budapest during the early years of World War II before adopting a false identity to escape the persecution of Jews. After the war, she emigrated to Australia with her husband and two sons, arriving in Sydney in 1951. Winner of the Women’s Weekly Portrait Prize in 1955 and 1956, Cassab became the second woman to win the Archibald Prize and the first woman to win it twice when her portraits of artists Stan Rapotec and Margo Lewers took out the Prizes for 1960 and 1967. With two exceptions, Cassab was an Archibald finalist every year between 1952 and 1979, returning to the competition again in the 1990s on concluding her term as a Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In addition, her abstract landscapes featured in Wynne Prize exhibitions between 1973 and 2003. She has held over seventy solo exhibitions since her first show at the Macquarie Galleries in Sydney in 1953, and her many awards include a CBE (1969); an AO (1988); and an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney. In 2011, the Hungarian government awarded her the Gold Cross of Merit, its highest civilian honour.

Collection: National Portait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Marea Gazzard 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2005.7

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Judy Cassab (age 46 in 1966)

Marea Gazzard (age 38 in 1966)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab

Flesh, figure and rock

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2018

Aimee Board traces Judy Cassab’s path to the Australian outback, arriving at the junction of inspiration and abstraction.

Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab
Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab
Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab
Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab

Vintage Cassab

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The oil portrait of Sir Frank Packer KBE by Judy Cassab was gifted to the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.

Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab
Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab
Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab
Sir Frank Packer KBE, 1956 Judy Cassab

Judy Cassab

The artist's diary

Previous exhibition, 2013

The artist's diary profiles six decades of Cassab's work, from the early portrait commissions of the 1950s to later paintings that have helped confirm her eminent place in the canon of Australian portraiture.

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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.