Skip to main content

To help keep our visitors and staff safe, please book your spot before visiting.

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.

Lily Brett

n.d. (printed 2021)
Jacqueline Mitelman

inkjet print on paper (image: 40 cm x 30 cm)

Lily Brett OAM (b. 1946) is a New York-based novelist, essayist and poet. Born to survivors of Auschwitz, Brett emigrated to Melbourne with her family when she was two. In her twenties, Brett worked as a journalist on the music magazine Go-Set, and on Uptight, a television pop-music program. In the summer of 1967 she travelled to the UK and then the USA to cover the Monterey International Pop Festival, where she interviewed rock stars including Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. She later included them in her 2013 novel Lola Bensky. Brett published her first collection of poetry in 1986, The Auschwitz Poems, illustrated by her husband, painter David Rankin. In 1989 she and Rankin moved to New York with their three children. The following year she published her first novel, Things Could be Worse. Just like that (1994) won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, and her bestselling 2001 novel, Too Many Men, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. She has published nine volumes of poetry, several of them on the theme of the Holocaust, and five collections of essays, including Old Seems to be Other People (2021).

Renowned portrait photographer Jacqueline Mitelman has captured her friend Lily Brett with great style and sensitivity against a dramatic black background.

Purchased with funds provided by Jillian Broadbent AC 2021
© Jacqueline Mitelman

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

Jacqueline Mitelman (age 69 in 2021)

Lily Brett OAM (age 75 in 2021)

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.

Jacqueline Mitelman

'Buddha-nature'

Portrait story

Australian photographer, Jacqueline Mitelman, discusses her process for creating portraiture.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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