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Australia 1911 – 2003

The sleeper 1939 photographs, gelatin silver photograph
Technique: gelatin silver photograph
Primary Insc: Signed l.r. print border, pencil, "Olive Cotton". Dated l.l. print border, pencil, "...'39". Titled l.l. print border, pencil, "The sleeper".
printed image 29.2 h x 25.0 w cm
sheet 38.0 h x 32.4 w cm
Purchased 1987
Accession No: NGA 87.1766


  • The sleeper 1939, Olive Cotton's graceful study of her friend Olga Sharp resting while on a bush picnic, made around the same time as Max Dupain's Sunbaker, presents a different take upon the enjoyment of life in Australia. The woman is relaxed, nestled within the environment. The mood is one of secluded reverie.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010