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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.

Elaine Haxton, c. 1940s

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 26.0 cm x 30.5 cm, image: 24.5 cm x 29.1 cm)

Elaine Haxton AM (1909–1999), painter, graphic artist and theatre designer, grew up in Sydney. Leaving school at fourteen, she studied at the East Sydney Technical School before travelling to London to work with an advertising agency and further her studies at the Grosvenor School of Art. On the outbreak of war, she returned to Australia via New York and Mexico, where she became interested in murals. A key member of a group of artists which included Russell Drysdale and William Dobell, in 1942 she was commissioned to paint scenes from the Ballet Russes production Le Coq D'Or on the walls of the restaurant of that name in Ash Street, Sydney. The following year she won the Sulman Prize for these restaurant murals, which had been painted over by the early 1950s. After a period producing ballet costumes and sets in Dutch New Guinea, she returned to New York to study theatre design. In the 1950s, she studied printmaking techniques in Paris and Japan. A six-time Sulman finalist in the 1940s and 1950s, Haxton exhibited extensively, and retrospectives of her prints and drawings were held in 1983 and 1990. Her work was included in Creating a Scene at the Victorian Arts Centre in 2004 and Stage Fright: The art of theatre at the National Gallery of Australia in 2005.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Richard King 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2008.26

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 29 in 1940)

Elaine Haxton (age 31 in 1940)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Richard King (16 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.

Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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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.