Margaret Olley: A muse and artistic subject for others

Margaret Olley’s friendships with artists are chronicled in their pictures of her, such as William Dobell’s 1948 Archibald Prize–winning painting, works by Russell Drysdale and Jeffrey Smart and, much later, Ben Quilty’s 2011 Archibald Prize–winning portrait. No other subject has won the Archibald twice (self-portraits by Brett Whiteley and William Robinson aside), and the 63-year…

Margaret Olley’s generous life

The influence of Margaret Olley AC (1923–2011) on the history of twentieth-century Australian art exceeds even the impressive body of work she produced during her lifetime. Now, as during her long and productive career, Olley remains widely admired for her luminous, life-affirming approach to painting, and the constancy and bravura with which she pursued her…

William Dobell, Australia 1899-1970 / The Cypriot 1940

William Dobell’s The Cypriot shares its secrets

William Dobell is an artist recognised for his portraits and for often embellishing his sitter’s appearance to draw out their most distinctive traits. The model for The Cypriot 1940 was Aegus Gabrielides, a Greek Cypriot waiter who worked in a London café frequented by Dobell and his fellow Slade School students in the 1930s. Go behind-the-scenes with Anne…

Auschar Chauncy, England/Australia b.c.1836-1877 / Portrait of Richard Edwards 1874

We all call Queensland home

Telling the Story of Australian Art Continuing our series on the Australian Collection reimagined, we can observe the changing nature of portraiture – the shift from democratic modes such as the nineteenth-century photograph, to oil paintings produced after a number of sittings and preparatory sketches. These portraits tell stories of contact between cultures, including colonial…