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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.

Margaret Olley

1991 (printed 2012)
Greg Weight

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 111.5 cm x 126.5 cm, image: 92.0 cm x 110.5 cm)

Margaret Olley AC (1923-2011), painter, studied art at East Sydney Technical College and the Grande Chaumière in Paris. She was well known in the Sydney post war art scene and her portrait was painted by Drysdale and Dobell – Dobell’s painting won the 1948 Archibald Prize. Olley held her first one-person show that year. It was a sellout, and she held at least one solo exhibition annually from then on. In 1991 she reprised her success of 43 years before, when a show of thirty-five of her intimate, brilliantly coloured interiors and still lifes sold out again. The Art Gallery of New South Wales held a major retrospective show of her long career in 1996/7. Olley remained one of Sydney’s best-known arts identities to her death, curating an exhibition with Barry Humphries called ‘Favourites’ at the SH Ervin Gallery in 2002, continuing to paint, and posing for numerous portraits by younger artists she encouraged, including Nicholas Harding and Ben Quilty. In the 1980s she endowed the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust, of which several Australian galleries, including the National Portrait Gallery, have been beneficiaries. Quilty’s portrait of Olley won the Archibald Prize in 2011. Tweed River Art Gallery is home to the Margaret Olley Art Centre which includes a reproduction of Olley’s studio and living space.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Greg Weight 2012
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2022

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

Greg Weight (age 45 in 1991)

Margaret Olley AC (age 68 in 1991)

Donated by

Greg Weight (1 portrait)

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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