Skip to main content

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones
, 1951

by William Dobell

oil on composition board (frame: 134.0 cm x 114.5 cm, sight: 112.0 cm x 92.5 cm)

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones (1878–1958), merchant and arts patron, grew up in Sydney, where he studied briefly at Julian Ashton’s art school. Showing little promise as an artist, he qualified as a tailor and cutter in London. His grandfather was David Jones, and he began work in the David Jones clothing factory in 1902. By 1905, he was the store’s advertising manager; he became a director in 1906, when David Jones Limited became a public company, and was to be its chairman from 1920 to 1958, as the store expanded in Sydney and then across the country. A cofounder of Art in Australia and The Home in the 1920s, he was a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales for twenty-four years and established the David Jones Art Gallery. He took a keen interest in music, and amongst his many other public positions was the first chairmanship of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, in 1932. That year, as a member of the Board of Control of the new Australian National Travel Association, Jones gave a lecture on ‘Selling Australia to the World’, a topic which remained of vital interest to him. The Travel Association arranged for the production and overseas distribution of posters and booklets showing Australia’s scenery, flora and fauna, and produced a booklet, ‘Talking Points’, available to any Australian travelling abroad, suggesting conversational gambits that would shed favourable light on the country. Jones persisted with his own painting, and exhibited often with the Society of Artists. Meanwhile, he built up a very significant collection of paintings by other artists. He lived at Rosemont in Ocean Street, Woollahra, and was a genial member of several clubs.

William Dobell (1899–1970) painted Jones the year he was knighted, during the six-year period in which he was commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (by the time he took up the position, in 1949, he had been sailing out of the Squadron for forty-six years). Jones’s close friend, Sir Robert Menzies, gave his funeral oration.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Simpson family in memory of Caroline Simpson OAM 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2008.79