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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.

Geoffrey Legge and Frank Watters

1999
Anne Zahalka

from the series ‘The Innovators – collectors who shaped Sydney’s Avant-Garde, 1963 -1978’
type C photograph on paper, edition 1/1 (image: 61.0 cm x 50.0 cm, frame: 74.0 cm x 64.0 cm)

Geoffrey Legge (b. 1935) and Frank Watters (1934–2020) ran Watters Gallery in Darlinghurst from 1964 to 2018. Watters grew up in a working-class milieu in Muswellbrook and left school at fifteen to work in the mines. Having developed an interest in art he moved to Sydney and found work with Barry Stern, one of the city's few commercial gallerists at the time. Legge was born in Uganda and educated at Charterhouse, Surrey, before coming to Australia, where he studied economics at the University of Melbourne. In 1963 he rented a house next door to Stern's gallery and began hanging around there; in due course, he and Watters decided to open their own gallery in Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst. Legge, deferring to Watters' more practised eye for art, insisted that the gallery be named Watters. In 1969 the gallery moved to a former pub in Riley Street, where it became an intellectual and artistic hub.

Anne Zahalka's photograph of the pair – part of her series of portraits of significant Australian art collectors – was taken at Watters’ flat, which occupied the rooftop of the gallery building.

Purchased 2021
© Anne Zahalka/Copyright Agency, 2022

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

Anne Zahalka (age 42 in 1999)

Geoffrey Legge (age 64 in 1999)

Frank Watters OAM (age 65 in 1999)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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