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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

A G Stephens

c. 1910 (printed later)
an unknown artist

gelatin silver photograph on paper (mount: 19.5 cm x 12 cm, image: 14.9 cm x 9.2 cm)

Alfred George Stephens (1865– 1933), editor, journalist and publisher, was the first student enrolled at Toowoomba Grammar School. Though he qualified for admission to the University of Sydney, he did not study there, serving an apprenticeship as a typographer in Sydney before returning to Queensland to work as editor of the Gympie Miner and then as editor and part-owner of the Cairns Argus. Selling his stake in the newspaper in 1892, he travelled to North America and Europe, sending articles back to Australia for publication in a number of periodicals. He joined the Bulletin as sub-editor in 1894; in 1896, he established the paper’s famous ‘Red Page’ of literature-related news, reviews and anecdotes. As literary editor and head of the Bulletin’s publishing arm, ‘A.G.S.’ was the country’s most widely-read literary critic and significantly influenced the careers and work of a generation of writers, among them Henry Lawson, Joseph Furphy, Steele Rudd, Miles Franklin and Mary Gilmore. He rented a room in Rowe Street, Sydney with books, a bunk and combined basin and desk in it, and often stayed in the city after his famous Saturday night literary gatherings instead of returning to his home up the North Shore line. Stephens left the Bulletin in 1906 and focused on his own creative writing – now judged vastly inferior to his criticism – and on the production of his literary journal, the Bookfellow, which foundered, was resurrected, failed again and eventually ruined the father-of-seven financially. Between the demise of Bookfellow in 1925 and his own death twelve years later, Stephens continued to produce articles, short stories and verse and edited books on the poets Henry Kendall and Christopher Brennan.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

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

Alfred George Stephens (age 45 in 1910)

Subject professions

Media and communications

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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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