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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 Beckwith McInnes

n.d.
Gordon Furlee Brown

gelatin silver photograph on paper (31.0 cm x 25.5 cm)

William Beckwith (Bill) McInnes (1889–1939), artist, was only fourteen when he began studying drawing under Frederick McCubbin at the National Gallery School in Melbourne, before moving to painting. In 1912 he travelled around Europe and the UK, and his landscapes were exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London in 1913. Back in Melbourne he held successful exhibitions and taught drawing at the National Gallery School from 1916 to 1934. Beginning in 1921, McInnes won the Archibald Prize seven times, writing in defence of his conservative work that 'in Australia we have not been bitten by Cubism or Futurism or other isms … and I am glad of it'. Sir William Dargie was the only artist to win more times than McInnes; Dargie employed a style similar to McInnes, of optical realism based on tonal values, which had been handed down from Bernard Hall, McInnes' teacher, via Max Meldrum to Archibald Colquhoun, Dargie's teacher. In 1927 McInnes was commissioned, with Septimus Power, to paint the opening of Federal Parliament by HRH the Duke of York. He went to London in 1933 to paint the Duke's portrait. The following year he acted as director of the National Gallery of Victoria, and became Head of the National Gallery School, a position he held until shortly before his death.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999

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

Gordon Furlee Brown

W B McInnes

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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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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