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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Sir Mark Oliphant

late 1960s
Louis Kahan

pen and ink on paper (56.5 cm x 39.0 cm)

Sir Mark Oliphant AC KBE (1901-2000), a pioneer in the development of radar, was Governor of South Australia from 1971 to 1976. He is also remembered, however, as a participant in the Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory research group and in the United States Manhattan Project, which culminated in the artificial disintegration of the atomic nucleus and the bombing of Japan at the conclusion of World War II. He was director of research in the physical sciences at the Australian National University from 1950 to 1966 and the Foundation President of the Australian Academy of Science from 1954 to 1956. A campaigner for the environment, Aboriginal land rights and women's affirmative action, he once described himself as 'one of those persons who wish atomic weapons had never been made'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1998
© Louis Kahan/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Louis Kahan (age 55 in 1960)

Sir Mark Oliphant AC KBE (age 59 in 1960)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Self portrait
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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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