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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.

Mary Windeyer, c.1891

Freeman Brothers

gelatin silver photograph on studio mount (backing sheet: 25.2 cm x 20.2 cm, image: 19.0 cm x 13.4 cm)

More images of this artwork

Mary Windeyer (née Bolton, 1837–1912), women’s rights campaigner, was the daughter of an Anglican minister who emigrated to New South Wales with his family in 1839. He was appointed to the Hunter Valley village of Hexham, close to Richard and Maria Windeyer’s Tomago estate. In December 1857, Mary married the Windeyers’ only child, William Charles, who encouraged her charitable work and political activities. Her energies initially were directed to causes relating to orphans and infant health, including the establishment of a foundling hospital (later the Ashfield Infants’ Home) which subsequently became a home for destitute, unmarried mothers and their babies. Her friendship with Henry Parkes facilitated the passage of the State Children’s Relief Act in 1881 and the establishment of a board (on which Mary served) to oversee the fostering of children from orphanages. Mary was also a leading campaigner on issues such as divorce law reform and increased employment opportunities for women. The inaugural president of the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales (1891), she was a founder of the Women’s Hospital, Darlinghurst; co-founder of the Women’s College of the University of Sydney; and prominent in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Following her husband’s death in 1897 she resided at Tomago and died there at age 76.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of J.B. Windeyer 2018

Accession number: 2018.45

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Freeman Brothers

Mary Windeyer (age 54 in 1891)

Subject professions

Activism

Donated by

Jim Windeyer (16 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.

Sir William Charles Windeyer, 1892 Tom Roberts
Sir William Charles Windeyer, 1892 Tom Roberts
Sir William Charles Windeyer, 1892 Tom Roberts
Sir William Charles Windeyer, 1892 Tom Roberts

Private virtues public lives

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Family affections are preserved in a fine selection of intimate portraits.

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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.