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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.

Self portrait at 85, 1990

Joshua Smith

oil on primed masonite (frame: 63.0 cm x 53.0 cm, support: 51.0 cm x 40.5 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Joshua Smith studied sculpture with Rayner Hoff and took classes in drawing and painting at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School. During the war, Smith worked in a camouflage unit with fellow artist William Dobell. In January 1944 Dobell's portrait of Smith was awarded the Archibald Prize for 1943. A law case ensued, with the artist complainants alleging that Dobell's work was a caricature of his friend. The court found that it was a good likeness. The trial was inevitably distracting, embarrassing and debilitating for Dobell and Smith, but the following year Smith rallied to win the Archibald himself, for a portrait of HS Rosevear. Dobell's portrait of Smith was badly damaged in a fire in 1958, but it has since been restored. Smith painted several memorable portraits, including one of Dame Mary Gilmore and a haunting study of his parents acquired by the Art Gallery of NSW in 1943. He was a regular exhibitor in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes for many years.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the late May Ralph 2019

Accession number: 2019.67

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Joshua Smith (age 85 in 1990)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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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.

Portrait of Florence Broadhurst, 1968 Joshua Smith
Portrait of Florence Broadhurst, 1968 Joshua Smith
Portrait of Florence Broadhurst, 1968 Joshua Smith
Portrait of Florence Broadhurst, 1968 Joshua Smith

Be bold

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2007

The name of Florence Broadhurst, one of Australia’s most significant wallpaper and textile designers, is now firmly cemented in the canon of Australian art and design.

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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.