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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.

John Darling

Louis Kahan

pencil on paper (sheet: 44.6 cm x 32.5 cm)

John Darling (1923-2015), businessman, company director and media producer was the son of Harold Gordon Darling, chair of BHP. Educated in Melbourne, Darling joined the RAAF as a teenager and served with distinction as a night pilot in Britain. He was aide de camp to the young Queen Elizabeth on her tour of Australia in 1954. Having become involved in the management of his family’s business, John Darling and Son, he moved into investment banking, establishing Darling and Company in 1961. In the 1960s and 1970s he encouraged the careers of James Wolfensohn and David Clarke, among others. For 27 years he was chair of BP Australia, and for many years he served on the boards of Alcoa Monsanto Australia and Goldfields Consolidated. He was also on the advisory board of the CSIRO, and he sat on the council of the Australian National University for three decades. Having been first chair of the Australian Film Development Corporation in 1970s, he established the production company Burbank, which enabled the creation of many animated features and films. In 1982 he founded the Lord’s Taverners Australia, an organisation that promotes cricket among young and disadvantaged people, running the Imparja Cup for remote-area Indigenous youth and competitions for blind, deaf and intellectually impaired players.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Louis Kahan/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2017.81

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Louis Kahan

John Darling

Donated by

Lily Kahan (52 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.

Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell
Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell

Eye to eye

Previous exhibition, 2019

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.