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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.

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Marilyn Darling AC

2010
Anne Zahalka

colour transparency on lightbox (sheet: 119.0 cm x 82.0 cm)

Marilyn Darling AC (b. 1943), a Founding Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, was Chair of the Board of the Gallery from 2000 until 2008. Under her leadership the Gallery grew from a small institution located in Old Parliament House to a significant Federal institution in its own building. In the late 1960s Darling worked in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Melbourne, and undertook postgraduate study in the Medical School of Monash University from 1973 to 1978. By the mid-1980s she was a major patron of art, music and health in the Australian community. After she married Gordon Darling in 1989, the couple convened the exhibition Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery, which toured nationally and demonstrated the potential for the institution. Since the Gallery was established in 1998 she has funded the acquisition of many works for its collection.

This portrait was taken in the Gordon Darling Hall by Anne Zahalka, a photographer Marilyn Darling admired. 'I'd wanted it to be really showing the building in some way, because I'd endowed the flowers, because I think museums that have got a large floral arrangement as you walk in just look fantastic. And then there was what's of course called the orange blob [James Angus' Geo Face Distributor], was something else that we'd given. It was just a great experience.'

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2010
© Anne Zahalka

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.
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Audio description

2 minutes 33 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Anne Zahalka (age 53 in 2010)

Marilyn Darling AC (age 67 in 2010)

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

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.

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.

Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

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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