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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.

Janet Vernon

1986
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (mount: 61.0 cm x 50.7 cm, image/sheet: 42.5 cm x 39.5 cm)

Janet Vernon AM, dancer, met her life and professional partner, Graeme Murphy, at the Australian Ballet School. In 1976, the couple was appointed to lead the Dance Company New South Wales (later the Sydney Dance Company) and they put together their first production, Poppy. Throughout their careers she has been Murphy’s muse and collaborator, able to see the full sweep of a production and ensure its parts worked together while he concentrated on details. In the early years they often danced together; later, she danced with the company throughout the world, in roles and productions they had created together. In 1996 she was named amongst Australia’s top five female dancers of all time (along with Marillyn Jones, Marilyn Rowe, Kathleen Gorham and Lucette Aldous). In 2000 Murphy and Vernon celebrated their achievements in Body of Work: A retrospective. Two years later they put together a unique Swan Lake. They married in 2004, and in 2009 choreographed the film Mao’s Last Dancer. Vernon and Murphy retired from the Sydney Dance Company in 2007 but the couple has continued to create works for Chinese, German and Australian companies.

Gift of Danina Dupain Anderson 2017. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Max Dupain OBE (age 75 in 1986)

Janet Vernon AM

Donated by

Danina Dupain Anderson (34 portraits)

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.

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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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