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Kremlinology at the National Portrait Gallery

By johnboy - 16 February 2007 57

No artistic institution has flourished as much under the Howard Government as the National Portrait Gallery. The fogeys of the conservative back bench have little interest in art but when they pay attention to it they tend to prefer “proper pictures” that don’t require any thought to understand. (for all irony that most portraiture requires the outside context of biography to make sense)

So as the only cultural institution beloved of the Government it’s certainly intriguing to read in the Courier Mail that the Portrait Gallery has taken down the picture of Germaine Greer (according to the Wikipedia “widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the 20th century”) and replaced it with a photograph of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.

[Steve Irwin 2005
by Robin Sellick]

“The portrait gallery said its decision to put in to storage a study of Greer, by Jacqueline Mitelman, in preference to the portrait of Irwin, donated by Melbourne celebrity photographer Robin Sellick, was in response to “strong public demand”.

Having appreciated the irony perhaps they might have decided not to make the grand gesture?

But no, let’s tear down the nasty feminist and put up the boofy idiot!

UPDATED: Thanks to Simbo for the head’s up, Germaine has responded by questioning Irwin’s masculinity. If only they could both be dead.

What’s Your opinion?

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57 Responses to
Kremlinology at the National Portrait Gallery
The Secretary 12:00 pm 16 Feb 07

Irwin’s environmentalist credentials were welcomed by the Government and like-minded peeps because as a well-intentioned and wealthy landowner who was doing great things for the environment under his own motivation, he took the pressure off the Government to do these things themself.
Not quite a case of leaving the market to look after itself, but close.

threeze 11:53 am 16 Feb 07

Thumper is 100% correct when he says bringing “conservation ideals to a whole bunch of bogan right wingers, or at least, to their kids” is a good thing.

simto 11:35 am 16 Feb 07

I dunno, his enviromentalism tended to consist of “I’m going to get extremely rich so I can buy all the environment I want to protect”. Which is somewhere between naive and actively evil.

Thumper 10:49 am 16 Feb 07

He might have been an off the planet boofhead, but his conservation work was virtually unparalleled.

And his promotion of wildlife conservation has lead to a greater unsterstanding and appreciation of animals and their conservation.

In simple terms, he brought greenie (almost, but not quite) conservation ideals to a whole bunch of bogan right wingers, or at least, to their kids.

This is a good thing.

bonfire 10:45 am 16 Feb 07

except that women over 35 are largely invisible to me.

so i cant recall seeing the greer nude.

atoz 10:44 am 16 Feb 07

I think you’ll find ‘laughing your arse off’ at someone’s death makes you ‘sick in the head’. I have wished cancer upon you.

Absent Diane 10:35 am 16 Feb 07

I hate that cocksmoker. I laughed my arse off when he got stung by that stingray.. he was sick in the head.

Mr_Shab 10:33 am 16 Feb 07

I dunno bonfire – Ms Greer in the altogether was pretty confronting too…

Does seem a awfully stong coincidence, though.

Thumper 10:19 am 16 Feb 07

Actually, I haven’t been there for a while. As such I may have to find the time over the next week to go along.

bonfire 10:15 am 16 Feb 07

i always liked the michael boddy nude.

very confronting.

Maelinar 10:08 am 16 Feb 07

And he waved the flag at every opportunity.

As an ambassador of Australia, he did more before he got up in the morning than most other representatives do in their lives.

Considering, that he also made a living in his khaki king gee’s, that’s not too bad a contribution.

Thumper 9:56 am 16 Feb 07

Totally agreed there Wolfmother lady in the dark…

Greer was very relevant 20-30 years ago, but somehow she became wrapped up in her own little world of ‘I hate Australia so I’ll bag them at every chance’ and the whole feminist movement left her behind.

Irwin may have been a boofhead, but his conservation credentials were as good as anyones.

west01 9:54 am 16 Feb 07

Johnboy- please feel free to detail your expertise and knowledge in animal education and conservation. We can compare this ‘boofy idiot’with your obviously superior intellect.

darkladywolf 9:45 am 16 Feb 07

Greer was what was needed at the time. However she was for that time. These days she’s not someone I can admire, except for past deeds. So, she’s a historical icon, rather than having much relevance now.

Steve, I can easily admire. Yes, he’s a boofhead, but he was also someone that did some good things, and enjoyed what he did.

Thumper 9:42 am 16 Feb 07


I love it.

I’ll take the boofy idiot over that stupid, ranting, irrelevant old hag any day.

Geez, i’m sounding like a caller to Radio SGS.

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