Skip to main content
Menu

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.

Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

2000
Australian Tapestry Workshop, Merrill Dumbrell (weaver), Christopher Pyett (photographer) and Normana Wight (computer treatment)

warp: cotton No.12 seinetwine; weft: wool and cotton (overall: 144.8 cm x 120.4 cm)

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE (1909–2012) contributed unstintingly to cultural, educational, medical, environmental and community causes throughout her life. Born in Melbourne, she married newspaper proprietor Keith Murdoch in 1928 and moved to Cruden Farm near Langwarrin, where they raised their four children. In 1933 she joined the management committee of the Royal Children's Hospital, of which she was president from 1954 to 1965 and enabled the establishment of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in 1986. She supported the work of the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, the Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children, the Burnet Institute and the Bionic Ear Institute. The first woman to serve on the council of the National Gallery of Victoria, she endowed the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Sculpture Foundation, the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Arboretum and the Australian Ballet, and supported a range of programs to assist prisoners, children in care and other marginalised groups.

Dame Elisabeth was integral to the founding of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop – now the Australian Tapestry Workshop – in 1976, making them the obvious choice to create her portrait for the Gallery's collection. Former ATW Director Sue Walker recalls that Murdoch took great interest in the creation of her portrait, 'exhibiting her famous, exuberant excitement at the completion of the weaving'.

Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2000
© Australian Tapestry Workshop

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.
Audio description icon

Audio description

3 minutes 5 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Australian Tapestry Workshop (age 24 in 2000)

Merrill Dumbrell (age 24 in 2000)

Christopher Pyett (age 24 in 2000)

Normana Wight (age 24 in 2000)

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE (age 91 in 2000)

Supported by

Marilyn Darling AC (30 portraits supported)

Related portraits

1. The Honourable Margaret Lusink AM, 2019. All Pamela Joyce, Australian Tapestry Workshop.
© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency