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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.

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 Stella Cohen to Jewish parents in Sydney and grew up moving around New South Wales as her father, a draper and tailor, found work. She married a German Jewish furrier, Max Cornelius, in 1943 and together they established and built Cornelius Furs, which traded on the corner of King and Castlereagh streets and remained one of Australia’s leading luxury retailers for decades. Max Cornelius died in 1978. In 1982 Stella proposed an Australian Ministry of Peace, and in 1986 she established the Conflict Resolution Network. From 1984 to 1986 she was director of the Australian Government Secretariat for the United Nations International Year of Peace. She initiated the Media Peace Prize for the United Nations in Australia and founded the Gateway Committee supporting Indo-Chinese refugees. She was vice-president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, a member of the National Committee for Human Rights Education, a founding member of the Inter-Religious Council for Peace and a life member of the Australian Red Cross. Having helped to establish the Centre for Conflict Resolution that opened at Macquarie University in 1988, she received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 1999. In 2000 Nelson Mandela recognised her human rights activism, and in 2005 she was amongst the 1000 women jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2010 she gained the United Nations Association of Australia International Peace Award.

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

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Cornelius family 2019
© Judy Cassab/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Judy Cassab AO CBE (age 69 in 1989)

Dr Stella Cornelius AO OBE (age 70 in 1989)

Donated by

Helena Cornelius (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.

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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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency