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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.

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The Merioola Group

1940s
Alec Murray

gelatin silver photograph on paper (backing sheet: 20.0 cm x 26.5 cm, image: 15.5 cm x 20.5 cm)

The ‘Merioola Group’ was an association of young creative types who were thrown together through communal life in a house, Merioola, in Sydney’s Darling Point between 1945 and 1950. Members of the group included Donald Friend, Loudon Sainthill, Justin O’Brien, Jocelyn Rickards and Arthur Fleischmann. The artists of the group exhibited at the Myer Gallery in Melbourne and the David Jones Gallery in Sydney in 1947. As various individuals left to travel and work overseas, the group disbanded. The art critic Robert Hughes characterised the work of the group as the ‘Charm School’, a label which has adhered. An exhibition of the Merioola Group’s work was held at the SH Ervin Gallery in 1986.

Alec Murray photographed a number of stage and ballet personalities in the 1940s. This photograph, showing the members of the Merioola Group in the first flowering of their careers, is the definitive image of the Group and is signed by many of the subjects.

Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 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

Alec Murray (age 23 in 1940)

The Merioola Group

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

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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