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The Archibald Prize hits gender parity (at last)

Written by
Dee Jefferson

With the revelation of the finalist line-up in this year's Archibald Prize for portraiture, the big news – and the best news – is that of the 51 finalists, 25 are women – or 49%. When you compare that to just 14 out of 47 in 2015 (29%) and 17 out of 54 in 2014 (31%) that's quite the leap. 

Of the 25 female finalists, the first-time finalists include this year's Packing Room Prize winner Betina Fauvel-Ogden (for her portrait of MasterChef's George Calombaris), and young Sydney painters Clara Adolphs and Natasha Walsh. 

Packing Room Prize winner: George Calombaris by Betina Fauvel-Ogden

Other interesting stats for this year: 

49% of the subjects this year are artists themselves;
52% of the finalists are from NSW;
47% are first-time Archibald Prize finalists;
33% of the subjects are women;
27% are old white men.
2% are Ken Done reclining in a rainbow vest.

'King Ken' by Marc Etherington

Check out the 51 finalists online, or wait for the Archibald Prize exhibition to open next weekend.

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