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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.

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Dame Margaret Scott

1949
Kenneth Rowell AM

pen and ink, brush and ink and watercolour on paper (sheet: 44.0 cm x 33.0 cm)

Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE (1922–2019) was born in Johannesburg and left her home in Swaziland for London at seventeen. She joined the Sadler's Wells Ballet but soon decided she'd rather dance for the more experimental Ballet Rambert. Throughout the war she lived and worked in London, and came to Australia in 1947 as the Ballet Rambert's principal dancer. She first met artist and designer Kenneth Rowell when he was commissioned to create the sets for the Ballet Rambert's 1948 production Winter Night. During the company’s fifteen-month stay, Scott also met the Australian scientist Derek Denton, whom she married in Cambridge, England in 1953. After returning to Melbourne she became a key figure in the formation of the Australian Ballet in 1962, and was director of the Australian Ballet School from 1964 to 1990. Rowell moved to London in 1950 and remained there for some 30 years, working on more than 140 ballet, opera and theatre productions, while continuing to create expressionist paintings and mixed-media works. This drawing he made of Scott remained in her possession until being gifted to the Gallery by her and her husband in 2014.

Gift of Professor Derek Denton AC and Dame Margaret Scott AC 2014. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Estate of Kenneth Rowell

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

Kenneth Rowell AM (age 29 in 1949)

Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE (age 27 in 1949)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Emeritus Professor Derek Denton AC (2 portraits)

Related portraits

1. Portrait of Kenneth Rowell, 1967. All David Strachan.
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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