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…

Albert Namatjira, an Australian identity

William Dargie’s iconic image of Albert Namatjira has become the most identifiable image of the artist, and Ben Quilty and Vincent Namatjira have each been inspired to incorporate this original into their versions. Ben Quilty’s painting Albert 2004 features two identifiable Australian identities placed together, Namatjira, the pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art, and the…

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.…

Albert Namatjira’s legacy celebrated

‎Albert Namatjira occupies a significant place within Australian art history, being the first widely recognised Indigenous artist. His work Western MacDonnells c.1945 was the first by an Aboriginal person to enter the QAGOMA Collection in 1947. The Hermannsburg School art movement that began at the Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg in Central Australia in the 1930s,…

Albert and Vincent Namatjira

This work by Vincent Namatjira, a member of one of Australia’s most well-known artistic families, can be displayed beside the painting that inspired it, and will enrich the ongoing importance of its famous subject. Vincent Namatjira is one of the leading lights of the emerging generation of artists from remote central Australia. Namatjira is a…