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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.

Mr Albert Frederick Calvert (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1895

Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 38.1 cm x 25.9 cm, image: 35.2 cm x 19.4 cm)

Albert Calvert (1872–1946), author, traveller and mining engineer, first visited Australia in 1890, when he undertook a journey of exploration from Lake Gairdner to the upper Murchison River. On a repeat journey over the same territory, he discovered the rare spinifex parakeet. He went on to circumnavigate Australia and explore the eastern gold fields of WA. Back in England he published the West Australian Review, was courted as ‘Westralia’s Golden Prophet’, and embraced an extravagant lifestyle of yachting, motoring and racing. In 1896, he offered to fund an expedition to search for Leichhardt and open a stock route from the Northern Territory to the Western Goldfields, but the expedition leaders died and Calvert proved unable to meet the expenses of the expedition. He financed further explorations of Australia, acted as managing director of Big Blow Gold Mines and Consolidated Gold Mines of Western Australia, consulted on engineering for the Mallina gold mines, and wrote fourteen slapdash books on Australia including studies of Aborigines, pearls, history and minerals. However, as a result of Federation and his own racing losses, Calvert’s passion for Australia was extinguished. He went on to write thirty-six books on Spain, two on Nigeria and five on German Africa. Initiated as a Freemason in 1893, he ended his writing career as an unreliable chronicler of Masonic history.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ronald Walker 2002

Accession number: 2002.61

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir Leslie Ward (age 44 in 1895)

Albert Frederick Calvert (age 23 in 1895)

Donated by

Ronald Walker (23 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.

"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward

Vanity fair

Magazine article by Ashleigh Wadman, 2012

Ashleigh Wadman rediscovers the Australian characters represented with a kindly touch by the British portrait artist Leslie Ward for the society magazine Vanity Fair.

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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.