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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.

William McMahon, 1973

Victor Greenhalgh

ciment fondue

Between 1959 and 1974 Victor Greenhalgh made busts of prime ministers Scullin, Forde, Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon and Whitlam for the Avenue of Prime Ministers in Ballarat’s Botanic Gardens. The three works by Greenhalgh in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery are studies for, or casts of, Ballarat’s busts. The bust of McMahon was a gift of Greenhalgh’s son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Wendy, residents of Griffith, ACT.

Sir William McMahon was the 20th prime minister, in office from March 1971 to December 1972. The Liberal-Country coalition held government from 1949 until the end of 1972, when Gough Whitlam won the election for the Labor Party on the premise that ‘It’s time.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Paul and Wendy Greenhalgh 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 1999.12

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Victor Greenhalgh (age 73 in 1973)

Sir William McMahon CH GCMG PC (age 65 in 1973)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Paul Greenhalgh (3 portraits)

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.

Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon), 1999 Esther Erlich
Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon), 1999 Esther Erlich
Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon), 1999 Esther Erlich
Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon), 1999 Esther Erlich

Desperately seeking Sonia

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Esther Erlich’s portrait of Lady McMahon.

Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish

Primed

Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.