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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.

Dame Mary Gilmore

1961
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image: 45.8 cm x 39.5 cm)

Dame Mary Gilmore DBE (1865-1962) was a poet, journalist and social visionary who campaigned for social reform from a radical standpoint. She was the first female member of the Australian Workers' Union, and from 1908 to 1931 she championed the causes of the underprivileged as editor of the women's page of the Australian Worker. The wild swan, a book of verse excoriating the white settlers' ravaging of the land and destruction of Aboriginal culture, was published in 1930; Under the Wilgas (1932) and subsequent works expanded on this theme. Between 1891 and 1961 at least thirteen portraits were made of Gilmore by various artists, an indication of her importance as patriot, feminist, social crusader and folklorist. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1937 in recognition of her contribution to Australian life and literature.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2003
© Max Dupain/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

Max Dupain OBE (age 50 in 1961)

Dame Mary Gilmore DBE (age 96 in 1961)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

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.

Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries

Talking heads

About Face article

21 December 2020

In their own words lead researcher Louise Maher on the novel project that lets the Gallery’s portraits speak for themselves.

Sydney Ure Smith
Sydney Ure Smith
Sydney Ure Smith
Sydney Ure Smith

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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