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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.

Margaret Preston, c. 1930

Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image: 20.5 cm x 15.1 cm)

Margaret Preston (1875–1963), artist, trained at the NGV School and the Adelaide School of Design before leasing a studio and beginning to teach in Adelaide. After travel studies in Germany, France and Spain between 1904 and 1907 she returned to Adelaide to take on an increased teaching load. In 1912 she went to London, spending seven years there and in Europe before marrying and setting up house in the Sydney harbourside suburb of Mosman in 1920. Based in Sydney for the rest of her life, though travelling extensively, she campaigned vigorously on behalf of modern art while bringing forth a large body of robust paintings and prints. Preston was one of the first artists to recognise the significance and aesthetic power of Indigenous Australian art, the influence of which can be seen in some of her own work. She also saw the beauty in the native flowers and trees from which contemporaries such as Thea Proctor recoiled. Since the 1980s, many of her works have numbered amongst the most recognisable images of Australian art. The major Art Gallery of New South Wales retrospective, Margaret Preston: Art and Life toured in 2005.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM and Barbara Corrigan 2008
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.


Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2008.2

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 52 in 1930)

Margaret Preston (age 55 in 1930)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 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.

Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka
Marilyn Darling AC, 2010 Anne Zahalka

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

Self portrait, 1948 Grace Cossington Smith
Self portrait, 1948 Grace Cossington Smith
Self portrait, 1948 Grace Cossington Smith
Self portrait, 1948 Grace Cossington Smith

Modern Australian Women

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2005

Close contemporaries, Thea Proctor, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith were frequently sources of inspiration and irritation to each other. 

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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.