We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Archibald Prize 1943

Entries: 148 works
Exhibition dates: 22 January to 19 March 1944
All entries were exhibited; no limit to number of works each artist could submit

William Dobell’s painting of fellow Archibald artist Joshua Smith was awarded the prize, leading to the biggest controversy in its history.

The unusual style of the painting, described by some as a ‘caricature’, drew record crowds to the Gallery, with opening hours and the exhibition period both extended to meet visitor demand.

The Mirror newspaper reported that some trustees were considering resigning over the award decision. Two entrants, Mary Edwell-Burke (also known as Mary Edwards) and Joseph Wolinski, took legal action against Dobell and the trustees on the grounds that the work was not a portrait as defined by the Archibald bequest. Ultimately their legal suit was not successful.

Joshua Smith’s own 1943 Archibald entry, of writer Mary Gilmore, was runner up.

  • Harold Abbott - Patient awaiting plastic surgery
  • James Adam - Self-portrait
  • Normand Baker - Self-portrait
  • Rex Battarbee - Nabi Pinti Pi, Tribesman [sic]
  • Leonard Beck - The late Julian Ashton, CBE
  • Gordon Bennett (active 1940s) - Wing-Comm Clive R Caldwell, RAAF, DSO, DFC and Bar, Polish Cross of Valor
  • Daysi M Brookes - Miss Gladys Moncrieff as Sonia in 'The merry widow'
  • Daysi M Brookes - Mr Wilfred E Johnson
  • Ernest Buckmaster - Dr Cedric Roche
  • Ernest Buckmaster - Lieut-General JL Withem, CMG, DSO
  • Maude E M Burrell - Shirley Metcalfe
  • Charles Bush - Portrait of the artist, Phyl Waterhouse
  • Charles Bush - Portrait of Douglas Watson
  • William Bustard - Tippo Powder
  • Jack Carington Smith - Professor JR Elliott
  • Norman Carter - Mr WA Crowle
  • Norman Carter - FJ Ludowici, Esq
  • Norman Carter - Pilot Officer A Roulston
  • Bess Chapple - Mrs Patricelli, nee Sylvia Davis
  • James Coleman - Portrait of James Forgood
  • William Gilbert Collins - Self-portrait
  • A D Colquhoun - The late President of the Senate The Hon Senator J Cunningham
  • A D Colquhoun - Miss Mavis Wilson
  • Clara Cornell - Portrait of father
  • Jean Cowtan - Portrait of Bill Thompson
  • James Crisp - Self-portrait
  • William Dargie - Portrait of Dr N Hamilton Fairley, CBE, FRS
  • William Dargie - Lieut-Col AG Fenton, AIF
  • William Dargie - Captain EP Harty
  • William Dargie - Miss Campbell
  • Sylvia Davis - Portrait of Barbara Monroe
  • Aileen R Dent - Professor HC Summers
  • Aileen R Dent - Sgt W Geoffrey Smith
  • William Dobell - Mr Brian Penton
  • William Dobell - Billy boy
  • William Dobell - Mr Joshua Smith (Winner: Archibald Prize 1943)
  • A A Drover - Portait of Captain Chaffers
  • Mary Edwell-Burke - Portrait of Nancy Bird (Mrs Walton)
  • Mary Edwell-Burke - Portrait of Miss Alison Oliver
  • Mary Edwell-Burke - Portrait of Margaret Coen
  • Mary Edwell-Burke - Elizabeth Banks
  • Elsie Elder - The Hon John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia
  • Albert Enes - The groundsman
  • Albert Enes - Daniel Lamont (ironmaster)
  • Nell Eveston - Marian Eveston
  • Joy Ewart - Mrs Lillian Ewart
  • Joy Ewart - Self-portrait
  • Alma Figuerola - Portrait of Nina Murdoch in costume of Pais da Vinho (Portugal)
  • Owen Garde - Most Rev M Beovich, DD, PhD
  • Reuben Gibson - Warrant Officer Cyril Bower, RAAF
  • Marjorie Glyn-Edwards - Sister Metcalfe
  • John Barclay Godson - Lieut-Commander N McGuire (E), RAN
  • John Barclay Godson - The Hon PC Spender, KC, MP
  • John Barclay Godson - Mrs C Green
  • John Barclay Godson - Patricia Minchin (Mrs R Doyle)
  • Paul Haefliger - Portrait of a lady in black
  • Henry Aloysius Hanke - Sister VA Torney, MBE
  • Henry Aloysius Hanke - Sister MI Anderson, GM
  • Henry Aloysius Hanke - Lieut AR Cutler, VC
  • Henry Aloysius Hanke - Able Seaman AHG Walker, RANR
  • Olaf L Harris - Pixie O'Harris
  • Weaver Hawkins - One of the coming generation
  • John R Heath - Professor Arthur Amies as Major Amies
  • Edward Heffernan - Dr CH Kellaway, FRS
  • John J Hennessy - Portrait of my wife
  • Nellie Hennessy - Portrait
  • Sali Herman - A gipsy girl, head
  • Nora Heysen - Col Sybil H Irving, MBE, controller of AWAS
  • Nora Heysen - Group Officer Clare Stevenson, director, WAAAF
  • Nora Heysen - First Officer S McClemans, WRANS
  • Leon Hogan - Professor AD Ross
  • Joseph Holloway - Roy Thibou
  • James Leslie Humphreys - Self-portrait
  • Reginald Jerrold-Nathan - Self-portrait
  • Margaret Gordon Johnson - Lieut-Gen H Gordon Bennett, CB, CMG, DSO, VD
  • Clement Charles Kennedy - Mrs SJ Watson
  • Clement Charles Kennedy - Able Seaman NM Hewitson
  • J Noel Kilgour - The Misses Beatrice and Meta Blaxland
  • J Noel Kilgour - Portrait in green
  • J Noel Kilgour - Miss Dorothy Kilgour
  • Edwin Harold King - Commander E Kingsford-Smith, RAN
  • Bernard Lawson - Portrait
  • Frederick William Leist - Sir Charles Blackburn
  • Frederick William Leist - Mrs Frank Sturge Harty
  • Frederick William Leist - Captain Gilbert Nobbs
  • John Evlyn Lynch - Self-portrait
  • Herbert McClintock - Self-portrait
  • Louis McCubbin - Study in blue and gold
  • Winifred McCubbin - Portrait of Vera Scantlebury Brown, OBE, MB, ChB (Melbourne)
  • Herbert W McCulley - Portrait of my wife
  • Harry McDonald - Portrait of Aileen
  • Violet M McInnes - Miss SM Chinnery
  • Miriam MacRae - Portrait of my son
  • Mavis Mallinson - He sent her a grass skirt from New Guinea
  • Mavis Mallinson - Pamela
  • Tempe Manning - JR Yule
  • Joseph Wilson Mawhinney - Portrait of SL See
  • Joseph Wilson Mawhinney - Self-portrait
  • Max Meldrum - Portrait of Rt Hon Sir John Latham, GCMG
  • Albert S Moriarty - Golden tresses
  • Richard Morrell - Self-portrait
  • Arthur J Murch - Kenneth Wilkinson
  • John R W Oliver Clayton - Self-portrait
  • Thelma Parr - The Venerable Archdeacon CN Robertson
  • Reginald Parsons - Portrait of Len Ellens
  • Reginald Parsons - Self-portrait
  • Esther Paterson - Rear Admiral Commanding Australian Squadron, Admiral B Crutchley, VC, DSC
  • Esther Paterson - Portrait of Barbara Newman
  • Clif Peir - AB Colin Browne (HSD), RANR
  • William R Plowman - Sgt Cosgriff
  • William R Plowman - Portrait of Miss May Smith
  • Ina Pownall - Self-portrait
  • M Prowse Carey - Pat
  • James Quinn - Howard W Matthews, Esq
  • James Quinn - George Bearham, MD
  • Walter Rayment - WM Whitney, Esq
  • Ingrid Rayner - Miss Nora Reid
  • Ingrid Rayner - Miss Muschi Kroning
  • Lloyd Rees - Portrait of the artist
  • Freda Robertshaw - Mrs Rose Naylor
  • Hugh Robinson - Self-portrait
  • John Thomas Nightingale Rowell - Self-portrait
  • John Thomas Nightingale Rowell - Portrait of Bernard Cronin
  • William Rowell - Thelma Champion
  • William Rowell - Air Commodore HF De La Rue, DFC
  • William Rowell - Self-portrait
  • Reginald Jack Shepherd - 'Kol'. A native missionary
  • Joshua Smith - Dame Mary Gilmore
  • Helen Stewart - Peggy Friedlander
  • Alice Maud Stone - Mrs I Green
  • Graham A Thorley - Wing Commander C Fairbairne, AFC
  • Graham A Thorley - Self-portrait
  • Dora Toovey - Lieut AR Cutler, VC
  • Lyall Trindall - JCE McDonald, Esq
  • Alice Turnbull - Garden portrait
  • Douglas Watson - Mildred Hill, pianist
  • Douglas Watson - Despatch rider Sgt Rex Beggs
  • Douglas Watson - Self-portrait
  • Trevor Gregson Wells - AB Edward Cuneo
  • Charles Wheeler - Mrs E Rasmussen
  • Eric Wilson - BW Hone, Esq
  • Rita Wilson - Lieut EF Wilson
  • Joseph Wolinski - Self-portrait
  • Joseph Wolinski - William V McCall
  • Joseph Wolinski - Lieut-Commander John L Graham, USN
  • Joseph Wolinski - Major CA Finley
  • C Dudley Wood - Self-portrait
  • Arnold Zimmerman - The artist's wife