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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 Reverend Ralph Sutton, 1935

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on card (mount: 29.6 cm x 24.2 cm, sheet: 24.7 cm x 18.4 cm, image: 23.9 cm x 17.4 cm)

Ralph Sutton (1908–1967), Methodist minister, trained in Sydney, was ordained in 1935 and began his career in Mosman Methodist Church. The following year, he was appointed to the Far West Mission at Nyngan, NSW, administering a vast parish. Travelling thousands of kilometres a week, he vitalised the mission before transferring to minister in the Sydney slum suburb of Glebe in 1942. Establishing the First Community Church in St Johns Road, for six years he worked with street children in the area. Following study overseas, he returned to Newcastle, where he founded the Australian Christian World newspaper. In Perth from 1953, he exponentially expanded the congregation at the city’s Wesley Church, broadcast thrice weekly on radio, wrote for the West Australian and penned prayers and encouraging words, published posthumously as The Constant Flame (1997). In 1958 he created Good Samaritan Industries, which offered ‘real pay for real work’ by people with disabilities and has provided employment for thousands. Between 1959 and his death Sutton pioneered the first aged-care ‘village’ in Australia, Rowethorpe, comprising a range of living options, facilities, hospital and hostel care which served as a model for such developments nation-wide. The half-century of Good Samaritan Industries in 2008 was marked by the establishment of The Ralph Sutton Education Foundation, to enhance educational opportunities for people with disabilities.

Max Dupain obe (1911–1992) set up his studio in Sydney in 1934. Through the 1930s he took portraits and advertising shots, photographed dancers and musicians for the ABC and gained exposure in the lifestyle magazine, The Home. In the 1950s he turned increasingly to architectural photography. From 1958 to 1973 he documented the construction of the Sydney Opera House. In 1975 the Australian Centre for Photography mounted the exhibition Max Dupain – A Retrospective 1930–1975. With this show, The Sunbaker, taken nearly forty years earlier, became a definitive Australian image.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of his daughters Arlene Howes and Megan Newman in memory of Ralph Sutton and in tribute to his wife Dorothy Sutton 2011

Accession number: 2011.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 24 in 1935)

Ralph Sutton (age 27 in 1935)

Subject professions

Religion

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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.

Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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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.