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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.

Self portrait, 1965

Jean Appleton

oil on masonite (support: 164.0 cm x 82.0 cm)

Jean Appleton, painter, studied at the East Sydney Technical College before proceeding, via cargo ship, to London in 1935 for further studies at the Westminster School. In London, she was part of the group of young Australian artists, including William Dobell, Donald Friend and Arthur Murch, who worked on a mural for the Wool Secretariat pavilion at the 1938 Empire Exhibition in Glasgow. With the outbreak of war she returned to Australia, thereafter teaching at high schools in the ACT and NSW and at the Julian Ashton and National Art Schools in Sydney. The first of her thirteen solo exhibitions was held at Sydney’s Macquarie Galleries in 1940. Resident in England from 1969 to 1981, she continued to teach intermittently into the late 1970s. After a difficult first marriage to artist Eric Wilson, who died, she married painter Tom Green and they settled in Moss Vale. Though her work is now represented in major state and regional collections, Appleton was like many women artists of her generation in that recognition of her work came late in life: she was in her eighties when a public gallery first presented a retrospective exhibition of her art.

Jean Appleton won the inaugural Portia Geach Memorial Award in 1965 with this work.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Estate of Nicolaas Van Der Waarden 2013

Accession number: 2013.92

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jean Appleton (age 54 in 1965)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related portraits

1. Study for self portrait, c. 1965. All Jean Appleton.

Related information

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Self portrait, 1965 Jean Appleton
Self portrait, 1965 Jean Appleton
Self portrait, 1965 Jean Appleton
Self portrait, 1965 Jean Appleton

In good company

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Jean Appleton’s 1965 self portrait makes a fine addition to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection writes Joanna Gilmour.

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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.