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Australian art

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Portrait of Sir John Sulman



John Longstaff


1862 - 01 Oct 1941


The architect John Sulman (1849–1934) was a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1899–1934 and president from 1919 until his death in 1934. His children endowed the Sir John Sulman Prize for genre (subject) painting or mural decoration, to be awarded annually by the Gallery's trustees in conjunction with the Archibald and Wynne Prizes. Sulman's architectural commissions in Australia include the Women's College, University of Sydney (1890–94) and Presbyterian churches at Woollahra, Manly and Randwick. His most important work was the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital at Concord.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006

This painting won the Archibald Prize in 1931 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1931.


Other Title

Sir John Sulman



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


104.4 x 96.5 cm

Signature & date

Signed u.r., oil "J Longstaff".


Purchased 1931


Not on display

Accession number


Archibald Prize

Winner - 1931

Artist information

John Longstaff

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Douglas Dundas, Art Gallery of New South Wales quarterly, 'The Wynne and Sulman prizes', pg. 53-56, Sydney, Jan 1961, 53 (illus.), 55.

Anna Waldmann, The Archibald Prize: an illustrated history 1921-1981, Sydney, 1981, 217 (colour illus.).

Prue Joske, Debonair Jack, South Yarra, 1994, 158 (illus.).

Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. 202; titled 'Sir John Sulman', [Gallery No. 3]

Peter Ross, Let's face it: the history of the Archibald Prize, 'The Early Decades', pg. 16-31, Sydney, 1999, 27 (colour illus.), 124 (colour illus.).

Peter Ross, Let's face it: the history of the Archibald Prize, ‘Chapter 2: The early decades’, pg. 15-37, Sydney, 2005, 25 (colour illus.), 134 (colour illus.). titled 'Sir John Sulman'

Anna Waldmann, Art and Australia (Vol. 20, No. 2), 'The Archibald Prize', pg. 213-236, Sydney, Summer 1982, 217 (colour illus.).