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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.

Alec Hope, c. 1985 (printed 2007)

David Brooks

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.4 cm x 30.2 cm, image: 38.3 cm x 26.4 cm)

AD Hope OBE (1907-2000), poet, literary critic and academic, was educated at Sydney University before winning a scholarship to Oxford. Returning to Australia in 1931, he taught at Sydney Teachers' College and Melbourne University before becoming first Professor of English at the Canberra University College - later to become the Australian National University - in 1951. He retired from this post in 1968, but remained a familiar figure on campus for many years more. Hope's scintillating volumes of poetry, including The Wandering Islands (1955), Poems (1960), and A Late Picking (1975) brought him international recognition. In an age of technical innovation in poetry, he adhered strictly to traditional verse forms, but thematically, especially in the genteel climate of Menzies-era Australia, his work was striking for the candour of its eroticism. In a recent cover article for the London Review of Books, Clive James reprised his 1994 assessment of Hope as 'the poet who matters most in all of the largest island's short but variegated cultural history.' Hope continued to publish into the early 1990s; his memoir, Chance Encounters, was published in 1992.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2007

Accession number: 2007.4

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

David Brooks (age 32 in 1985)

A. D. Hope OBE (age 78 in 1985)

Subject professions

Education and research

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Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Alec Hope, c. 1985 (printed 2007) David Brooks
Alec Hope, c. 1985 (printed 2007) David Brooks
Alec Hope, c. 1985 (printed 2007) David Brooks
Alec Hope, c. 1985 (printed 2007) David Brooks

A D Hope and his circle

Previous exhibition, 2007

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of poet Alec Derwent Hope AC OBE (1907-2000), the National Portrait Gallery exhibited a selection from its many portraits of Australian poets and authors.

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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.