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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

James Morrison with flugelhorn

1994
Kerrie Lester

oil and hand-stitching on canvas (frame: 205 cm x 245.5 cm)

James Morrison AM (b. 1962), jazz musician, composer and virtuoso performer, started to play the cornet at the age of seven and was sixteen when he made his international debut at the Monterey Jazz Festival. He went on to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and there met Don Burrows, who became his mentor. In the early 1980s, having joined the Conservatorium’s teaching staff, he and his brother John formed the Morrison Brothers Big Band, which continues to tour. Morrison’s range includes all wind instruments, as well as piano and vocals, and his career has included performances alongside a diverse range of international acts, among them Ray Charles, BB King, Wynton Marsalis, the London Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic, INXS, Dave Brubeck and Whitney Houston. More recently, he has become involved in instrument design, had a stint as a host of Top Gear Australia, and in 2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Queensland Festival. Like Burrows, Morrison has made a significant contribution to music education, and in 2014 established the James Morrison Academy of Music of the University of South Australia, where he is an adjunct professor. Kerrie Lester entered this portrait of James Morrison in the 1996 Archibald Prize.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
Courtesy of the Corrigan family and Stuart Purves
© Kerrie Lester/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Kerrie Lester (age 41 in 1994)

James Morrison (age 32 in 1994)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

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Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Paul Kelly
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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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