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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.

Robyn Archer, 1990

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
Gift of Robyn Archer AO 2012
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2012.50

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

George Gittoes (age 41 in 1990)

Robyn Archer AO (age 42 in 1990)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013
Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013
Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013
Love City; George Gittoes on hilltop 2013

Man of war

Magazine article by Tedi Bills, 2016

Tedi Bills talks to George Gittoes about canvassing conflict.

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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.