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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 Surgeon (Dr Julian Smith), 1934

Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/sheet: 32.0 cm x 25.2 cm)

Julian Smith (1873–1947), surgeon and photographer, came to Australia with his family from England at the age of three. He was educated in Adelaide. Here, future Nobel laureate Sir William Bragg tried to persuade him to take up a career in physics, but instead he entered the Medical School of the University of Adelaide. He finished his degree, at the top of his year, in Melbourne in 1899. After a time at Melbourne Hospital he went into general practice, working for a while at St Mary's Hospital London before returning to St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. He remained on that hospital's surgical teaching staff until 1929, when he became a consulting surgeon. Meanwhile, he established himself as a surgeon in Collins Street. An active member of the British Medical Association between 1901 and 1936, in 1927 he became a foundation fellow of the Australasian College of Surgeons. Smith was particularly interested in diseases of the urinary tract, but during the war he made several advances in the sphere of blood transfusion. He took up photography late in life, exhibiting locally and overseas, becoming an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and gaining renown for his distinctive portraits.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Accession number: 2015.78

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 56 in 1934)

Julian Smith (age 61 in 1934)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

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.

Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux
Ethel Turner, 1928 Harold Cazneaux

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

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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.