The Archibald Prize

Natasha 6C


The very 1st Archibald prize was awarded to W B McInnes in 1921. £400 ($720) was given.

William Dargie won the Archibald Prize 1942. As an official war artist he painted a portrait of Corporal Jim Gordon in World War II in Syria. Unfortunately during the journey back to Australia the ship sank.

Albert Namatjira was painted by William Dargie in 1956. He earned $1364 as prize money.


A famous controversy was in 1943. William Dobell's winning painting of Joshua Smith was called a caricature.

In 1938 Max Meldrum said women couldn't be expected to paint as well as men. Nora Heysen proved him wrong and was the first woman to win Archibald Prize that same year.

6 years ago, in 2008, Sam Leach painted a portrait of himself as Hitler. This made the front page of The Age. This portrait created a national dispute because some people thought it was inappropriate.


Some winners were:

  • W B McInnes (1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1930, 1936)
  • John Longstaff (1925, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1935)
  • William Dargie (1941, 1942, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1956)

The winner for 2014 is Fiona Lowry- Penelope Seidler.