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Professor Graeme Clark, 2000

Peter Wegner

etching on paper (sheet: 39.7 cm x 53.6 cm, image: 20.5 cm x 22.2 cm)

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Graeme Clark AC (b. 1935) is Laureate Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne and the Director of the Bionic Ear Institute. Clark made it possible for thousands of profoundly deaf people to hear when he launched the cochlear implant in 1978. The possibility of using an electrical device to stimulate the nerves inside the inner ear to produce hearing had been pursued sporadically by researchers since the 18th century. Clark has said that he discovered how to insert an electrode into the inner ear while studying shells on the beach; it took him and his team just 12 years to develop the first device that could do this successfully. Nicknamed the 'Bionic Ear', it remains the world leader in its field. Research and refinement of the cochlear implant continue, and Clark has also developed other hearing devices, in pursuit of what has been called one of the major medical advances of our time.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002

Accession number: 2002.58.3

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Peter Wegner (age 47 in 2000)

Professor Graeme Clark AC (age 65 in 2000)

Donated by

Peter Wegner (5 portraits)

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