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Robyn Archer
, 1990

by George Gittoes

oil on canvas (frame: 146.5 cm x 137.3 cm, support: 134.5 cm x 126.5 cm)

Robin Archer AO (b. 1948), performer, writer and director, studied at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University before becoming a high school English teacher. She became a star with her first theatrical efforts, Kold Komfort Kaffee (1978), The Conquest of Carmen Miranda (1978), A Star is Torn (1979) and Tonight: Lola Blau (1979), for all of which she wrote the songs and in all of which she performed. Seven of her full-length works for theatre have since been published, including A Pack of Women (1983). She is internationally renowned for her interpretations of Brecht/Weill and Eisler, which she gave in New York and Berlin in 2002 to tremendous acclaim. In the 1990s she began her distinguished career as director of various artistic festivals, which have included the National Festival of Australian Theatre (1992-94), the Adelaide Festival (1995-2000), and the Melbourne Festival (2002-03); she initiated the Tasmanian festival, Ten Days on the Island, and was the Artistic Director of the Centenary of Canberra in 2013. Archer has honorary doctorates from Sydney and Flinders universities and is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Robyn Archer AO 2012
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2012.50