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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.

Sidney Kidman and Arthur Triggs, c. 1914

Falk Studios

gelatin silver photograph on paper (frame: 102 cm x 81.5 cm, mount: 86.3 cm x 65.8 cm, image: 56 cm x 42.6 cm)

Sir Sidney Kidman, pastoralist (1857–1935), was Australia’s ‘cattle king’. Kidman ran away from his Adelaide home as a boy and worked as a cattleman, rouseabout and stockman and bullocky before establishing a butcher’s shop in Cobar in the 1870s. This venture was successful enough for him to set up as a large squatter. In 1886 he bought his first station, in the Northern Territory; over the following twelve years he built up two giant chains of properties stretching across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory. By the First World War he held land almost equal in area to that of Victoria. Arthur Triggs (1868–1936), pastoralist and collector, is sometimes referred to as the ‘Kidman of the wool industry’. Triggs came to Australia aged 19 and worked as an accountant in Yass before buying his first 8 000 wethers. From 1897 on he bought and leased properties studded along lines from Bourke to Kiandra, establishing a pattern of running between 250 000 and 500 000 sheep and some cattle at any one time. Triggs travelled often to London, where he indulged his passion for old books, manuscripts, coins and pictures, while his second wife, Mary, bought up specimens of antique lace. It became a truism that when Triggs prospered, so did Yass. After he died, a distinctive gateway, funded by public subscription, was erected in his honour in the town’s Victoria Park.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by The Ian Potter Foundation 2007

Accession number: 2007.47

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Falk Studios

Sir Sidney Kidman (age 57 in 1914)

Arthur Triggs (age 46 in 1914)

Subject professions

Agriculture and farming

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.

Sir Sidney Kidman, 1932 Samuel Woolf
Sir Sidney Kidman, 1932 Samuel Woolf
Sir Sidney Kidman, 1932 Samuel Woolf
Sir Sidney Kidman, 1932 Samuel Woolf

The fat of the land

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Sir Sidney Kidman (1857-1935) is inscribed in Australian legend as the ‘Cattle King’. 

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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.