Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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.

Fred Gruen, 1941

Erwin Fabian

gouache on paper (sheet: 53.8 cm 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
Purchased with funds donated by Andrew Sayers
and from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2002

Accession number: 2002.66

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Erwin Fabian (age 26 in 1941)

Fred Gruen AO (age 20 in 1941)

Subject professions

Education and research

Related portraits

1. Kurt Baier, 1942. All Erwin Fabian.

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.

My Favourite Australian
My Favourite Australian
My Favourite Australian
My Favourite Australian

My Favourite Australian

Previous exhibition, 2008

My Favourite Australian is a project developed in collaboration with ABC TV and the people of Australia.

Margaret Whitlam, 2005 Sahlan Hayes
Margaret Whitlam, 2005 Sahlan Hayes
Margaret Whitlam, 2005 Sahlan Hayes
Margaret Whitlam, 2005 Sahlan Hayes

Open Air

Portraits in the Landscape

Previous exhibition, 2008

Open Air is an exhibition of portraits of Australians in environments of particular significance to them.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
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.