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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.

Bernard O'Dowd, Poet, 1919

David Low

pen and ink on paper (sheet: 31.7 cm x 14.4 cm)

Bernard Patrick O'Dowd (1866-1953), poet, teacher and public servant, published the first of his several books of verse, Dawnward? in 1903. His best-known poem, 'The Bush', was published in 1912. A 'public poet', frequently delivering lectures and readings and composing verse for public occasions, he was also involved in a number of radical and alternative organisations including the Theosophical Society and the Victorian Socialist Party, and assisted with the editing of left-wing newsletters including The Socialist.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.74

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

David Low (age 28 in 1919)

Bernard O'Dowd (age 53 in 1919)

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.

Federal Statistican Knibbs, 1919 David Low
Federal Statistican Knibbs, 1919 David Low
Federal Statistican Knibbs, 1919 David Low
Federal Statistican Knibbs, 1919 David Low

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Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Dr. Sarah Engledow tells the story of Australia's first Federal statistician, Sir George Knibbs.

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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.