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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

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

Accession number: 1998.20

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Louis Kahan (age 55 in 1960)

Sir Mark Oliphant AC KBE (age 59 in 1960)

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The Companion

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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, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

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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.