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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Dr Stella Cornelius AO OBE

1989
Judy Cassab AO CBE

oil on canvas (frame: 104.0 cm x 81.7 cm, support: 88.0 cm x 66.0 cm)

Stella Cornelius AO OBE (1919–2010), businesswoman and peace activist, was born to Jewish parents in Sydney and grew up moving around New South Wales as her father, a draper and tailor, found work during the Depression. She married a German Jewish furrier, Max Cornelius, in 1943 and together they formed Cornelius Furs, which traded on the corner of King and Castlereagh streets and remained one of Australia's leading luxury retailers for decades. In 1973, Stella founded the Peace and Conflict Resolution Program for the UN Association of Australia. After Max died in 1978, Stella devoted herself to conflict resolution and peace full-time. In 1985 she established a National Consultative Committee on Peace and Disarmament and the following year founded the Conflict Resolution Network. Having helped to establish the Centre for Conflict Resolution that opened at Macquarie University in 1988, Stella received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 1999. In 2000 Nelson Mandela recognised her human rights activism, and in 2005 she was among the 1000 women jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2010 she gained the UNAA International Peace Award.

The portrait was a gift to Cornelius from immediate family for her 70th birthday. During several sittings over the second half of 1989, she and Judy Cassab formed a warm connection as work on the portrait progressed.

Gift of the Cornelius family 2019
© Judy Cassab/Copyright Agency, 2022

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 69 in 1989)

Dr Stella Cornelius AO OBE (age 70 in 1989)

Subject professions

Activism

Donated by

Helena Cornelius (1 portrait)

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency