The Archibald Prize: A Century of portraits

This year marks 100 years of Australia’s oldest portrait award — The Archibald Prize — hosted by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Since 1921 the prize, painted from life, has attracted National interest, controversy, court cases and continually sparks numerous debates, so to celebrate its centenary, we’ve made a list of works from…

Portrait of Albert Namatjira

A conventional portrait — a seated half-figure painted from life — which is disrupted by the subject’s race. In mid-twentieth-century Australia, Indigenous people had rarely figured in a genre that confirmed the status of ‘elder statesman’ upon its (mainly male) subjects. William Dargie’s Portrait of Albert Namatjira 1956 has subsequently become the most identifiable image…

Namatjira story

Albert Namatjira (28 July 1902 – 8 August 1959) was a Western Arrernte-speaking Aboriginal artist from the MacDonnell Ranges, west of Alice Springs in Central Australia. His Western-style landscapes, different from traditional Aboriginal art, made him a celebrated pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art in the 1950s and the most famous Indigenous Australian of his generation.…