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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.

Geoffrey Legge and Frank Watters, 2008

Gary Grealy

inkjet print on paper (frame: 125.0 cm x 148.5 cm depth 2.2 cm, image: 75.0 cm x 100.0 cm)

Geoffrey Legge (b. 1935) and Frank Watters (1934–2020) ran Watters Gallery in Darlinghurst, central Sydney, from 1964 to the end of 2018. Watters grew up in a working-class milieu in Muswellbrook and left school at 15 to work in the coal mines. Having developed an interest in art he moved south and served his apprenticeship in art dealing with Barry Stern, then one of the leading gallery owners amongst the very few in Sydney. Legge, an Englishman, studied economics at the University of Melbourne. In 1963 he and his wife Alex rented a house next door to Stern’s gallery and began to ‘hang around’ there. In due course Legge and Watters decided to open their own gallery in Liverpool Street, Surry Hills. Geoffrey Legge, deferring to Watters’s more practised eye for art, insisted that the business be named Watters. Alex Legge kept their accounts throughout the life of the Gallery. In 1969 they took premises in Riley Street, which became an intellectual and artistic hub attracting the likes of Patrick White, who bought many works for the benefit of artists and, ultimately, the Art Gallery of New South Wales. As Watters Gallery’s closure approached, veteran art critic John McDonald wrote that none of Legge’s and Watters’s peers could match the list of major artists who showed with them.

Gary Grealy, a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize a record nine times, won the Prize in 2017.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010

Accession number: 2010.120

Currently not on display

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National Photographic Portrait Prize 2009 Finalist

Artist and subject

Gary Grealy (age 58 in 2008)

Geoffrey Legge (age 73 in 2008)

Frank Watters OAM (age 74 in 2008)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Gary Grealy (4 portraits)

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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.