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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.

Glenn Murcutt, 1980 (printed 2017)

Robert McFarlane

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 33.0 cm x 48.5 cm, image: 23.9 cm x 35.9 cm)

Glenn Murcutt AO (b. 1936), architect, received the world’s highest architectural honour when he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in April 2002. Having spent a good deal of his youth in New Guinea, where he learned to love simple shapes and materials, Murcutt only just scraped into a university architecture course. As a student, he drew on principles he had learned while working for his father, who had a number of building businesses in Sydney after the war. Murcutt is unusual amongst Pritzker winners in that he works alone, mostly on residential homes; he has never made a skyscraper or a tourist attraction; and he uses mostly basic materials. He uses shades, louvres, fully opening walls and carefully planned ventilation to enable his buildings to respond instantly to changing conditions and requirements. His overriding design philosophy is that dwellings should ‘touch the earth lightly’. Murcutt’s latest project is the Australian Islamic Centre, an unconventional mosque in suburban Melbourne. The Islamic Centre project is at the heart of an intimate film about Murcutt by Catherine Hunter, Glenn Murcutt – Spirit of Place (2016).

One of Murcutt’s first significant projects was the Marie Short House, Kempsey, designed in the mid-1970s, purchased and altered by the architect in 1980.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017
© Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2017.44

Currently on display: Gallery Six (Tim Fairfax Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Robert McFarlane (age 38 in 1980)

Glenn Murcutt AO (age 44 in 1980)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

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.

Ken Done video: 3 minutes 36 seconds
Ken Done video: 3 minutes 36 seconds
Ken Done video: 3 minutes 36 seconds
Ken Done video: 3 minutes 36 seconds

Ken Done

'I am very Sydney'

Portrait story

Iconic Australian artist Ken Done discusses his life and career as a painter.

Glenn Murcutt video: 4 minutes
Glenn Murcutt video: 4 minutes
Glenn Murcutt video: 4 minutes
Glenn Murcutt video: 4 minutes

Glenn Murcutt

'Strength and delicacy'

Portrait story

Award-winning Australian architect, Glenn Murcutt describes the philosophy of his architectural practice and his minimalist portrait by Ken Done.

Me, 1992 Ken Done
Me, 1992 Ken Done
Me, 1992 Ken Done
Me, 1992 Ken Done

Donated duo

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Dr Sarah Engledow writes about the gift of two striking paintings by the Australian artist Ken Done AM.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.