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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.

Janet Holmes á Court

2001 (printed 2011)
Lorrie Graham

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 49.7 cm x 41.4 cm, image: 40.0 cm x 27.0 cm)

Janet Holmes à Court AC (b. 1943), businesswoman and philanthropist, graduated in science and worked as a teacher before marrying young Perth lawyer Robert Holmes à Court in 1966. Holmes à Court acquired his flagship company, the Bell Group, in 1973; Australia’s first billionaire, he was one of the small group including Alan Bond and Rupert Murdoch who quickly built large business empires that impacted on the international economy before the crash of 1987. The couple began collecting art in 1973 and Janet Holmes à Court’s collection now runs to some four thousand items. Following her husband’s sudden death in 1990, she took over his sunken empire, building up its cattle, horse breeding, vineyards, wine and engineering concerns. She retained full ownership of the Heytesbury Group until 2008, when her son Paul succeeded her, although she is still its chairperson. She has served as chairperson of the Australian Children's Television Foundation and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and on the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia; also involved with the Women’s Hospital and diabetes research, she was an advocate for a republic at the 1998 constitutional convention and has recently expressed her concerns with regard to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. Holmes à Court is a designated Living National Treasure.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011
© Lorrie Graham

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency