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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.

Marcie Elizabeth Wilson

1922
George Lambert

pencil on paper (frame: 35.5 cm x 27.0 cm, sight: 55.5 cm x 43.7 cm)

Marcie Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Fairfax (née Wilson, 1907–1995), was a leading figure in fashionable circles in Sydney in the 1920s and 1930s. The daughter of a barrister, Betty made headlines when she married media proprietor Warwick Fairfax in 1928. Their divorce in 1946, and Betty’s subsequent remarriage to a French naval officer, was the subject of heated gossip. During World War 2, Betty ran Air Force House in Sydney, where a team of volunteers provided meals and accommodation for 2000 servicemen each week. She has been described as ‘one of the great beauties of her generation’ who combined flair with wit and kindness. As a prominent socialite and hostess, Betty was connected with the city’s primary tastemakers of the inter-war years. Her portrait, photographed by Harold Cazneaux and styled by Adrian Feint, was featured in the April 1929 issue of The Home. Betty’s two children from her marriage to Warwick Fairfax, Caroline and James, both became art collectors and remarkable patrons of heritage and the arts in Sydney.

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

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

George Lambert (age 49 in 1922)

Marcie Elizabeth Fairfax (age 15 in 1922)

Donated by

Emily Simpson (6 portraits)

Louise Dobson (6 portraits)

Alice Simpson (6 portraits)

Edward Simpson (6 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.

George Lambert

'Self Portrait with Gladioli'

Portrait story

An examination of the life and times of George Lambert through the gesture and pose in his self portrait. 

Self portrait with gladioli
Self portrait with gladioli
Self portrait with gladioli
Self portrait with gladioli

Money and swat

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2007

Andrew Sayers discusses the real cost of George Lambert's Self portrait with gladioli 1922.

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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