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.

Marilyn Darling AC

2010
Anne Zahalka

colour transparency on lightbox (sheet: 119.0 cm x 82.0 cm)

Marilyn Darling AC (b. 1943) is the Chair of the Gordon Darling Foundation and a member of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia Foundation. Born in Brisbane, she studied science at the University of Queensland and undertook postgraduate study in the Medical School of Monash University. Though she worked as a scientist, her interests encompassed a variety of social and cultural concerns, including art, music and health. In 1989 she married L Gordon Darling AC CMG (1921–2015), whose ambition to create a National Portrait Gallery in Australia soon became the couple's joint project. In 1992 they convened the exhibition Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery, which toured nationally and proved the impetus for this institution's eventual foundation. She was Chair of the Gallery's Board from 2000 until 2008, and under her leadership the institution grew from a small gallery in Old Parliament House to a significant national institution housed in its own dedicated building.

When it came to having her own portrait taken, Darling recollected that she 'hadn't really given any thought to what I would want. I was always thinking about other portraits'. In keeping with her wish that the portrait show the NPG building, Anne Zahalka photographed her in the light-filled Gordon Darling Hall. The sculpture in the left background – James Angus' Geo face distributor (2009) – is among the many acquisitions she has enabled since 1998.

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2010
© Anne Zahalka

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

2 minutes 33 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Anne Zahalka (age 53 in 2010)

Marilyn Darling AC (age 67 in 2010)

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

© 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