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.

Jørn Utzon

1965 (printed 2006)
Jozef Vissel

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 30.3 cm x 40.3 cm, image: 27.3 cm x 34.3 cm)
Jørn Utzon

Jørn Utzon AC (1918-2008), architect, designed the Sydney Opera House. Utzon designed his first building of note, his own home in Copenhagen, in 1952. Just four years later he won the international competition to build the Opera House. He arrived in Australia with the plans in 1963. Construction got off to a premature start, and Utzon's brief changed at Stage 1. By 1964 he was in dispute with the government over his choice of subcontractors for Stage 3. In 1965 a newly elected government, having promised to 'do something' about rising costs on the project, demanded detailed plans and firm timelines; Utzon was also battling his engineering firm, Ove Arup. He resigned in 1966, after the Minister for Public Works stopped paying him. The Opera House was completed in 1973, with interiors totally different from Utzon's models. Utzon was named an Honorary AC in 1985, and in 1999 he and his architect son Jan were appointed 'consultants' to ensure that any future changes to the building would accord with his design principles. In 2003 he was awarded architecture's outstanding honour, the Pritzker Prize.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2006
© Jozef Vissel

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

Jozef Vissel (age 30 in 1965)

Jørn Utzon AC (age 47 in 1965)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Donated by

Jozef Vissel (13 portraits)

Other information

The 'Multi Exposed Hand'
22 January 2005
Photographer Jozef Vissel talks about his ‘Multi Exposed Hand’ portrait of Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon.

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.

Jørn Utzon
Jørn Utzon
Jørn Utzon
Jørn Utzon

With a Little Help from my Friends

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

The story behind the acquisition of the portrait of Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

© 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