Walter Gropius and Harry Seidler

Max Dupain1954

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery
Canberra, Australia

Harry Seidler AC OBE (1923–2006), architect and designer, was born in Vienna and studied under Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer at the Harvard School of Design. He worked with Alvar Aalto in Massachusetts, with Breuer in his New York practice and with Oscar Niemeyer in Rio de Janeiro before travelling in Sydney in 1948 to design a house for his parents in Turramurra. Now known as the Rose Seidler House, it caused a sensation and introduced Bauhaus principles to Australia. Soon commissioned to design houses for other clients, Seidler made a significant contribution to the architecture of Sydney, particularly in his Australia Square buildings (1961–1967), the MLC Centre (1972–1978) and Grosvenor Place (1982–1988). He also designed major projects around Australia and internationally, including the critically acclaimed Australian Embassy in Paris (1973–1977) overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Among his multitudinous awards are the RAIA Gold Medal (1976) and the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal (1996). He received Australia's highest honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia, in 1987.

Max Dupain was Seidler's favourite architectural photographer. The architect is shown here aged thirty, talking with his teacher Walter Gropius who was in Sydney to lecture at the 1954 RAIA convention. Dupain took the picture in the Seidler-designed Julian Rose House at Wahroonga, close to completion at the time.


  • Title: Walter Gropius and Harry Seidler
  • Creator: Max Dupain
  • Date Created: 1954
  • Physical Dimensions: 42.5 x 41.5 cm
  • Provenance: Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Purchased with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003
  • Rights: https://www.portrait.gov.au/form-image-request.php
  • External Link: https://www.portrait.gov.au/portraits/2003.25
  • Medium: Gelatin silver photograph

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