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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.

The Vivisector - David Williamson

2017
Danelle Bergstrom

oil on canvas (support: 150.0 cm x 180.0 cm)

David Williamson AO (b. 1942), playwright, studied and lectured in mechanical engineering and psychology before achieving success with his works for the stage. His early plays were first produced at alternative theatres - The Coming of Stork (1970) and The Removalists (1971) at Betty Burstall's La Mama in Melbourne, and Don's Party (1971) at the Pram Factory, Carlton, which was home to the Australian Performing Group. Williamson's subsequent plays, many of which have been made into films which he has scripted, include The Department (1975), The Club (1977), Travelling North (1979), The Perfectionist (1982), Emerald City (1987), Brilliant Lies (1993) Dead White Males (1995) Heretic (1996) Corporate Vibes (1999) and Up for Grabs (2001). His film credits include Stork (1971), Petersen (1974), Gallipoli (1980), The Year of Living Dangerously (1981) Phar Lap (1982), and On the Beach (2000). Williamson has received honorary doctorates from Sydney and Monash, and a great number of literary awards.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2018
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Danelle Bergstrom

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

Danelle Bergstrom (age 60 in 2017)

David Williamson AO (age 75 in 2017)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Danelle Bergstrom (1 portrait)

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.

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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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