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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.

Study for a portrait of Dame Merlyn Myer DBE, n.d.

William Dargie

oil on masonite (frame: 63.0 cm x 54.5 cm, support: 49.0 cm x 40.2 cm)

Dame Margery Merlyn Baillieu Myer (1900-1982), philanthropist, was the daughter of hotelier, George Baillieu. Born in Queenscliff, she grew up in Melbourne and met store-owner Sidney Myer in 1916. He had arrived in Victoria as Simca Baevski in 1898 and worked his way up to open the sophisticated American-style department store Myer Emporium on Bourke Street in 1911. Merlyn Baillieu and Myer (a divorcé) married in San Francisco in 1920. Settling in Melbourne in 1929 with two sons and two daughters. After Sidney’s death in 1934, Merlyn plunged herself into the Myer Emporium and administering the Sidney Myer Charitable Trust. Appointed OBE for her work for the Red Cross, she was promoted to DBE in 1960 for philanthropy. She raised large sums for cancer and heart disease research, was a Board member of the Royal Melbourne Hospital and patron of many community welfare organisations. From 1942 she often retreated to her sheep and cattle property Booroola, but remained a byword in Melbourne for elegance and generosity.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Estate of Marion Orme Page 2016
© Roger Dargie

Accession number: 2016.71

Currently on display: Gallery Six (Tim Fairfax Gallery)

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Related information

The Companion

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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.

Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor
Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor
Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor
Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor

The Changing Face of the Scientist

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Scientists tend to conjure up images of men in white coats in labs but this is just one stereotype in an evolving history of how we have perceived scientists, and how their profession has been understood over the years.

Self portrait, late 1930s William Dargie
Self portrait, late 1930s William Dargie
Self portrait, late 1930s William Dargie
Self portrait, late 1930s William Dargie

Sir William Dargie CBE

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

Sir William Dargie, painter and eight times winner of the Archibald Prize for portraiture, died in Melbourne on July 26, 2003, aged 91.

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The National Portrait Gallery

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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.