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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.

Elizabeth Carter, c. 1920

Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph, sepia toned on paper (sheet: 14.5 cm x 11.5 cm)

Elizabeth Sarah Ellen Carter (née Hill, 1845-1927) was one of the eight children born to Sydney cabinetmaker and undertaker John Hill jnr and his wife Elizabeth - the step-daughter of ex-convict boatman, John Cadman. Elizabeth grew up in the family home on William Street. She was eighteen when she married Robert Thomas Carter (1843-1917), also a cabinetmaker and a partner in her father's business. Robert Carter went on to become a leading cabinetmaker, furniture warehouseman and antique dealer, maintaining a number of businesses in the city from the mid 1860s until his retirement in 1891. A number of pieces of Carter's manufacture were exhibited at the Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition of 1870. Elizabeth and Robert Carter had seven children and lived for most of their married life at their home, 'Claines', in the harbourside suburb of Darling Point. As the mistress of such a house and the wife of a successful businessman, Elizabeth was typical of the sitters photographed by Harold Cazneaux who, by the 1920s, was the photographer of choice for Sydney society and socialites. Elizabeth lived at Claines until her death, aged 83, in 1927.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the family of FW Macpherson 2010

Accession number: 2010.126

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 42 in 1920)

Elizabeth Sarah Ellen Carter (age 75 in 1920)

Subject professions

Migration and colonisation

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.

Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

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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.