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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.

Gordon and Marilyn Darling

1994
Francis Reiss and June Orford

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.7 cm x 41.5 cm, image: 39.2 cm x 40.2 cm)

L. Gordon Darling AC CMG (1921-2015), former company director, was the Founding Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. Born in London, Darling was schooled in England before serving as a major in the AIF during World War II. In the early 1950s he became a company director with BHP, a position he held for 32 years. For fifteen years during this period he was also Chairman of Rheem Australia and Koitaki Ltd. Inaugural Chairman of the Board of the Australian National Gallery from 1982 to 1986, in 1987, reflecting his interest in the visual arts, he founded the Gordon Darling Australian Print Fund, which has acquired over 6 000 prints for the national collection. In 1991 he established the Gordon Darling Foundation, which continues to provide funding and staff development opportunities for public art institutions Australia-wide. That year, too, he and Marilyn Darling initiated the Darling Foundation-sponsored touring exhibition Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery, the interest generated by which led to the establishment of the National Portrait Gallery, housed first in the National Library of Australia, then in Old Parliament House and then in its own building on King Edward Terrace, Parkes.

Gift of Francis Reiss 2009
© Francis Reiss and June Orford

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

Francis Reiss and June Orford

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (age 73 in 1994)

Marilyn Darling AC (age 51 in 1994)

Donated by

Francis Reiss (4 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.

Gordon Darling

by Jiawei Shen

Portrait story

Gordon Darling talks about how Jiawei Shen came to paint his portrait.

Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes

Marilyn Darling

by Anne Zahalka

Portrait story

Marilyn Darling talks about the creation of her portrait, and the photographic process.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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