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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.

Phyllis Shillito

n.d.
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 55.5 cm x 37.5 cm, image: 45.5 cm x 35.5 cm)

Phyllis Shillito (1895-1980), designer and teacher, grew up in Yorkshire and trained and taught at Halifax Technical School before moving to teach design, craft and principles of art at Winchester School of Art and Liverpool City School of Art. In 1923 she sailed to Brisbane with her parents; she stayed there, teaching part-time, until 1925, when she gained a job at the Sydney Technical College, Darlinghurst (which became East Sydney Technical College in 1935). While continuing with her own watercolours, illustrations and bookplates – she was an Archibald and Wynne finalist several times, and collaborated on illustration with May Wall, author of Blinky Bill - she established the college’s diploma of design and crafts, which covered a great variety of subjects by the 1940s. Shillito was promoted several times over the 1940s and 1950s, until by 1958 she was acting head of the school of women’s handicrafts. For years, she wrote and spoke about design in all kinds of forums including the ABC television program Woman’s World. Having retired from the Tech in 1960, she opened the Shillito Design School in Grosvenor Street in 1962. The Art Gallery of New South Wales has one of her watercolours.

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

Phyllis Shillito

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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Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

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

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Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

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

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency