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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.

Leon Gellert with mask, 1936

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (mount: 50.5 cm x 40.5 cm, image/sheet: 39.5 cm x 30.3 cm)

Leon Gellert (1892-1977), poet and journalist, was a physical education teacher at Hindmarsh Public School in his native Adelaide when the World War 1 began in 1914. Eighteen days later he enlisted in the AIF. He began writing poetry on board ship in the Aegean. Wounded at Gallipoli, he was nursed back to health in London, returned to Adelaide and discharged unfit in mid-1916 (a few months later, he tried to re-enlist, but it came to naught). He went back to teaching, and continued to write. Songs of a Campaign (1917) went quickly into repeat editions, the third illustrated by Norman Lindsay. A second book, The Isle of San (1919), also illustrated by Lindsay, proved far less successful. Moving to Sydney, Gellert taught at Cleveland Street Intermediate High until 1922, when he began writing the ‘Man in the Mask’ column in Smith’s Weekly. The same year, he started co-editing Art in Australia and became a director of Art in Australia Ltd. Until 1942, he edited The Home. Henceforth, he worked for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sunday Herald and, in the 1960s, the Sunday Telegraph, writing elegant, lightly humorous columns, many based around his home in Burran Ave, Mosman. Toward the end of his life he returned to Adelaide, where he lived with his dachshund in a house he named Crumble Cottage. His biography by Gavin Souter, A Torrent of Words, was published in 1996.

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

Accession number: 2017.23

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 25 in 1936)

Leon Gellert (age 44 in 1936)

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.