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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.

Sarah Tuckfield

c. 1854
an unknown artist

oil on canvas (frame: 63.1 cm x 52.6 cm, support: 53.5 cm x 44.9 cm)

Francis Tuckfield (1808–1865), missionary, worked as a miner and a fisherman before deciding to become a preacher. Selected by the Wesleyan Mission of London as a missionary to the Aboriginal people of the Port Phillip district, he arrived in Melbourne with his wife Sarah (née Gilbart, c. 1808–1854) in 1838. He then undertook a number of journeys around the Geelong and Colac districts – some with the ‘wild white man’ William Buckley as his interpreter – to find a place for the establishment of a mission. He settled on a site on the Barwon River near Birregurra and established the Buntingdale Mission in 1839. Sarah worked as the station’s nurse and teacher while also raising several children. Buntingdale closed in 1848, after which the Tuckfields lived in Geelong, Sydney and Maitland.

Family tradition holds that these portraits were painted in England prior to the couple’s departure for Australia in 1837. A stamp on the reverse of both works, however, shows that the canvases were supplied by a London firm that operated between 1851 and 1854, suggesting that these are later, locally-made copies of the original paintings.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Freer Tuckfield family 2010
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

Sarah Tuckfield (age 46 in 1854)

Subject professions

Religion

Donated by

Michael Freer (2 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 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.

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