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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.

Maria Windeyer

c. 1865-1868
Freeman Brothers (photographic studio) after Edwin Dalton

albumen paper carte de visite on brown paper studio folder (backing sheet: 12.7 cm x 8.9 cm, sheet: 10.5 cm x 6.5 cm, image: 9.0 cm x 5.8 cm)

Maria Windeyer (née Camfield, 1795–1878), landowner, emigrated to New South Wales in 1835 with her husband Richard, a barrister, and their infant son, William Charles. In 1838 Richard acquired land on the Hunter River at Raymond Terrace. The homestead they built there – Tomago House – was designed by Maria and became the centre of an extensive agricultural estate, its crops including tobacco, cotton and sugar cane. By 1842, Tomago had grown to almost 30,000 acres, thirty of which were dedicated to the vines from which they produced their first wine in 1845. Meanwhile, Richard’s debts had accumulated and when he died in 1847 Maria was left owing some £9000 on the property. Having managed the business side of Tomago since 1844, however, she refused to resign herself meekly to impecunious widowhood. With some assistance and through the part sale of Tomago, she retained the house and surrounding land. She later dismissed the superintendent and ran everything herself, doing her own housework to save money and earning an income through sales of beef, preserves and wine. She hired a German winemaker in 1849 and in 1855 one of her wines was awarded a certificate of merit at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Partly because of his mother’s experiences, William Charles Windeyer (1834–1897) developed a particular interest in women’s rights and as NSW attorney-general was responsible for the introduction of the Married Women's Property Act in 1879.

Gift of J.B. Windeyer 2018

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

Edwin Dalton (age 58 in 1865)

Freeman Brothers

Maria Windeyer (age 70 in 1865)

Donated by

Jim Windeyer (16 portraits)

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency