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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.

Herb Elliott, 1992 (printed 2008)

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.6 cm, image: 40.5 cm x 35.0 cm)

James Herbert 'Herb' Elliott AC MBE (b. 1938), runner, won the gold medal in the 1500 metres at the Rome Olympics in 1960. The time he set in that event, 3 minutes 35.6 seconds, was not bettered for seven years. Having been schooled amidst the sports culture of Aquinas College, Perth, the young Elliott pursued a severe training regime devised by his coach, Percy Cerutty, who would exhort him to speed up by reminding him that 'it's only pain.' Winner, also, of two Commonwealth gold medals in 1958, Elliott ran the sub-four-minute mile seventeen times, and he was never beaten on level terms over a mile or 1 500 metres. He retired from athletics in 1961, after three scintillating years at the top. Later, he served on the boards of companies including Australian Portland Cement Ltd, Puma and Ansell Ltd; he is currently Chair of the Fortescue Metals Group and the Telstra Foundation. A Living National Treasure, he carried the Olympic flame into the stadium at the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.57

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 81 in 1992)

Herb Elliott AC MBE (age 54 in 1992)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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.