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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

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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Danina Anderson, daughter of Max Dupain 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2017.10

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 75 in 1986)

Janet Vernon AM

Donated by

Danina Anderson (34 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain
Sydney Ure Smith, 1948 Max Dupain

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka, 1936-37 Max Dupain

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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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.