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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.

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

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
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC

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
Ethel Turner
Ethel Turner
Ethel Turner

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.

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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 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