Media Release

Last Post for War Artist and Archibald Prize Winner at Fed Square


Federation Square

The artist from the West

The contribution of Australia's most decorated Archibald Prize winner and official war artist in the Second World War, Sir William Dargie, was celebrated last Friday at Federation Square with a special ceremony on the tenth anniversary of his death on 26 July 2003.


Leading Teacher Crissy Samaras and year six students Chloe Carter and Massimo Acquaro from
Williamstown North Primary School with Corporal Andrew Barnett of the Australian Army Band Melbourne at Fed Square.

Sir William Dargie's original easel used throughout the Second World War took centre stage on the red carpet at Fed Square with Leading Teacher Crissy Samaras and year six students Chloe Carter and Massimo Acquaro from Williamstown North Primary School where William Dargie commenced his teaching career in 1931.

Sir William Dargie's works were broadcast onto the Big Screen following the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by Corporal Andrew Barnett of the Australian Army Band Melbourne.


Art Historian Andrew Mackenzie speaks at the launch on YouTube..

Andrew Mackenzie, a prominent art historian and Sir William Dargie's biographer, and lifetime friend spoke at the launch. Also attending the ceremony were representatives of the Victorian Artists Society where William Dargie was a prominent member, the RSL and Art Education Victoria.


Representatives from Art Education Victoria and the Victorian Artists Society at the
ceremony at Fed Square.

Sir William Dargie, born in Footscray, was one of Australia's most important artists winning the Archibald Prize a record eight times.

Sir William Dargie's life story has been released on Federation Story, the digital time capsule of Federation Square which records and makes available stories of Australian lives to future generations.

Works by Sir William Dargie are held in the National Gallery of Australia Canberra, in all State Galleries, and in the regional Galleries - Castlemaine, Benalla, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Perth University, University of Melbourne and University of Sydney.

An estimated 600 works are in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and there are further works held in institutional and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.

Sir William Dargie worked on many commissions, including the portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and her mother and The Princess Royal.

Details of Sir William Dargie's Life can be accessed at Federation Story.

List of works and full biography at

About Fed Story
Federation Story is a free interactive exhibition at Federation Square and online portal that traces the events, people and ideas that led to Federation. It also celebrates the richly diverse stories and events that have continued to shape our country, our culture and our place in the world. Federation Square welcomes story submission via the online portal.

Photography by Georgia Baynes-Smith

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Fed Square - Mobile: 0417 329 201