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Neilma Gantner

c. 1990
William Kelly OAM

charcoal on paper (sheet: 69.5 cm x 75.5 cm)
Image not available

Neilma Baillieu Gantner (1922–2015) was the second child of Melbourne retailer Sidney Myer and his wife Merlyn. After her marriage ended in the late 1940s, she undertook an Arts degree at Stanford University, majoring in creative writing and publishing the first of her several books in 1959. Her contributions to her family's long association with philanthropy commenced in earnest in 1962, when she funded the construction of a hut in Victoria's high country as a memorial to her eldest son. A co-founder of the Gantner Myer Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art, she served with the Sidney Myer Fund and the Myer Foundation and as an executive of the refugee agency International Social Service. A keen sailor and lover of music, she also established the Four Winds Festival, a program of musical performances held annually at Bermagui, New South Wales, since 1991.

American-born William Kelly is recognised as a humanist, social activist and pacifist. His humanitarian interests are demonstrated by his portraits, which typically are of individuals who have contributed to social change.

Purchased 2022
© William Kelly

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

William Kelly OAM (age 47 in 1990)

Neilma B. Gantner (age 68 in 1990)

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