Leslie, Tim: Archibald Prize morphing

Leslie, Tim

The changing face of the Archibald‘, ABC News, 10 July 2014 and updated

Update: 2014 Archibald Prize won by a woman (Fiona Lowry) for a portrait of a woman (Penelope Seidler). About half this year’s entrants were women though subjects were still ‘overwhelmingly male’.

Another update: selection of finalists from the Moran Prize for portraits, 2014.


Morphing presentation of 91 Archibald Prize winning portraits 1921-2013. Fascinating technology but even more interesting is the tally of subjects (13 women, 78 men) and winners (9 women, 82 men). The presentation in just 1 minute 51 seconds says something important not just about art and artists in Australia but about gender also.

A list of winners and their portraits. There was no prize awarded in 1964 and 1980. Most winners: William Dargie, 8; WB McInnes, 7; Ivor Hele, John Longstaff, 5 each. Most female winners: Del Kathryn Barton, Judy Cassab, 2 each. Only subject to appear twice in a winning painting: Margaret Olley, 1948 (William Dobell); 2011 (Ben Quilty).

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