Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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.

Edmund Capon, c. 1986 (printed 2019)

Neil Duncan

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.5 cm, image: 27.0 cm x 41.0 cm, frame: depth 4.2 cm)
Image not available

Edmund Capon AM OBE (1940–2019), gallery director, began his career at London’s Victorian and Albert Museum in 1966. Having completed an MPhil in Chinese art and archaeology (including language), he was appointed assistant keeper in the Far Eastern Section in 1973. Acknowledged as a specialist in his field, he made three visits to China between 1974 and 1978, during the first seeing the initial excavations revealing the ‘entombed warriors’ in Xian. In 1976 the Australia Council and Art Exhibitions Australia commissioned him to write Art and Archaeology in China to accompany the touring show The Chinese Exhibition: a selection of recent archaeological finds of the People’s Republic of China (1977). In 1978 he became the first internationally trained art historian and curator to be appointed director of the Art Gallery of NSW. He held the position for 33 years, continuing to research, write and publish while overseeing significant building expansion, establishing a corporate foundation to fund purchases, steering collection development and curating many important exhibitions. The Entombed Warriors (1983) broke all records, nationally, by recording over 800 000 paying attendees. Along with Australian and British honours, he gained French and Italian awards for his contribution to art and culture. He was made an honorary Doctor of Letters of the University of New South Wales in 2000.

Neil Duncan worked on assignment for publications including the Australian, the Sun and the London Times before changing his focus to commissions for industrial and corporate clients such as Brambles, Transfield, Elders and Sydney City Ferries. His many images of Sydney include a definitive series on the defunct Colgate Palmolive factory, Balmain.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2019
© Neil Duncan

Accession number: 2019.20

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Neil Duncan

Edmund Capon AM OBE (age 46 in 1986)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related portraits

1. Edmund Capon, 2011. All Gary Grealy.

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.

Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.