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Fred Gruen
, 1941

by Erwin Fabian

gouache on paper (sheet: 53.8 x 39.3 cm)

Fred Gruen AO (1921-1997), economist, was a Viennese-born Jew. Declared an enemy alien in England at the outbreak of World War 2, in 1940 he was sent to Australia on the prison ship Dunera and interned at Hay, NSW. Accepted into Melbourne University in 1941, he served in the Australian Army before completing his commerce degree. After studying further in the USA, and teaching in Sydney and Melbourne, he took up a professorship in the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU in 1972, though he spent the next three years advising the Whitlam government on economic policy. As head of the ANU Economics program between 1975 and 1985, he founded the university's pioneering Centre for Economic Policy Research. President of the Economic Society of Australia and of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia during the 1980s, he continued to advise on economic policy into the 1990s.

Erwin Fabian (b.1915) is a sculptor, industrial designer and graphic artist. Born in Berlin, the son of artist Max Fabian, in 1938 he fled Germany for London because he was Jewish. Interned when war broke out, Fabian was sent to Australia on the Dunera and detained at Hay Internment Camp, where he mixed with many European Jewish intellectuals and made this portrait of Gruen. Released in 1946, he joined the Australian Army and was eventually seconded to Army Education in Melbourne, where he produced illustrations and cover designs for army publications. In 1950 he returned to London to work as a commercial artist and as a lecturer at the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts. Back in Melbourne in 1962 he commenced his work as a sculptor, exhibiting in state capital cities as well as in London. Since 1982 he has commuted between London and Australia, where his work is represented in many state and regional galleries.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds donated by Andrew Sayers
and from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2002
Accession number: 2002.66