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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.

Damien Parer, 1937

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 43.5 cm x 33.0 cm, image: 42.7 cm x 32.3 cm)

Damien Parer (1912–1944), photographer and filmmaker, became friends with Max Dupain in the 1930s, often taking photographs with him on excursions to the beach and bush. In 1933 Parer started working with the feature film director Charles Chauvel, for whom his projects included Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940). With the advent of war Parer became an official film cameraman for the Department of Information. He established a reputation as an outstanding operator in Tobruk, Greece and Syria, where he worked (sometimes with Frank Hurley) between 1940 and 1942. With the acceleration of the Japanese offensive he moved to document the conflict in New Guinea. Here he made Kokoda Front Line, for which he and the film’s producer, Ken Hall, won Australia’s first Academy Award in 1942. Two years later, Parer was killed in action while covering the landing of American forces at Peleliu in the Pacific.

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

Accession number: 2017.19

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 26 in 1937)

Damien Parer (age 25 in 1937)

Donated by

Danina 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.

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.