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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.

Caroline Chisholm

1853
J B. Hunt (engraver) after Antoine F. Claudet

steel engraving on paper (sheet: 24.5 cm x 15.8 cm, plate-mark: 23.0 cm x 15.5 cm, image: 11.8 cm x 9.5 cm)

Caroline Chisholm (1808–1877), philanthropist and political agitator, grew up in England and came to Sydney in 1838 with her husband and two sons, having spent the previous five years in India. Shocked by the conditions faced by single women immigrants in New South Wales, she resolved 'never to rest until decent protection was afforded them'. She began by taking newly arrived women into her own home and in 1841 opened the Female Immigrants' Home, which provided shelter and operated as an employment agency. Despite official indifference and hostility from squatters, Chisholm led convoys of horse-drawn vehicles into rural areas, settling people on farms. By 1842, she claimed to have helped 'upwards of 2000 persons' find homes, husbands and employment. Back in England from 1846, she continued lobbying on behalf of assisted immigrants. Chisholm returned to Australia in 1854 and busied herself on the Victorian goldfields, but became sick, struggled financially, opened a girls' school and faded into relative obscurity.

This black-and-white engraving by J. B. Hunt, after a daguerreotype by Antoine Claudet, portrays Chisholm in her later years. It was made in London in 1853, the year Chisholm published The Emigrant's Guide to Australia. Claudet learned photography from Louis Daguerre, and established his own daguerreotype studio in London in 1841.

Purchased 2015

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

Antoine F. Claudet (age 56 in 1853)

J B. Hunt

Caroline Chisholm (age 45 in 1853)

Related portraits

1. Portrait of Caroline Chisholm, c. 1851. All an unknown artist.

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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.

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