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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.

Portrait of Brenda Niall

1997
Judy Cassab AO CBE

oil on canvas laid on composition board (frame: 81.5 cm x 65.5 cm, support: 76.7 cm x 61.0 cm)

Brenda Niall AO (b. 1930), writer, academic and reviewer, is one of Australia's foremost biographers. Niall grew up in Melbourne where she attended the University of Melbourne and worked in the English department at Monash University. In 1974 she published Martin Boyd, a biography of the writer born into the Boyd family of artists; it was republished in 1977, 1989, 1990 and 2004. Her subsequent writings on the family include The Boyds: A family biography (2002), which won the Queensland Premier's and Victorian Premier's Literary Awards; Martin Boyd: A life (2004), which won the National Book Council Award; and Brenda Niall on Arthur Boyd (2005). Her other biographies include Georgiana: A biography of Georgiana McCrae, painter, diarist, pioneer (1994), which won the Victorian Premier's Award; Judy Cassab: A portrait (2005); The riddle of Father Hackett (2009); True North: The story of Mary and Elizabeth Durack (2012); Mannix (2015), which won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal and the National Biography Award; and Friends and Rivals: Four Great Australian Writers (2020). Her autobiographical works include Life Class (2007) and Can You Hear the Sea? My grandmother's story (2018). Niall has also written on Australian children's literature, and edited collections of letters and stories. She is a regular reviewer for the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Book Review.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Brenda Niall AO 2019. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Judy Cassab/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

Judy Cassab AO CBE (age 77 in 1997)

Dr Brenda Niall AO (age 67 in 1997)

Donated by

Dr Brenda Niall AO (1 portrait)

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, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab
Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab

Flesh, figure and rock

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2018

Aimee Board traces Judy Cassab’s path to the Australian outback, arriving at the junction of inspiration and abstraction.

Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE

Vintage Cassab

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The oil portrait of Sir Frank Packer KBE by Judy Cassab was gifted to the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.

© 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.

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