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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.

Peter Allen, 1980

William Yang

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.9 cm x 60.7 cm, image: 27.5 cm x 40.4 cm)

Peter Allen (1944-1992) was born Peter Allen Woolnough in Tenterfield, NSW. At age 15 he joined with singer Chris Bell to form the Allen Brothers, and by 1964 was part of a successful singing trio chosen to support Judy Garland on her world tour. In 1967 he married Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli, whom he divorced three years later. In the 1970s he became a successful cabaret performer and recording artist. Among his more enduring songs are "I Go To Rio" and "I Still Call Australia Home." He also achieved success composing for other performers, co-writing such hits as Olivia Newton-John's Grammy-winning "I Honestly Love You" and Christopher Cross's "Arthur's Theme (Best That you Can Do)", which won best song at the 1981 Academy Awards. Peter Allen played his final concerts to packed houses in Sydney in January 1992, just five months before his death. He is presently being portrayed on Broadway by Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003
© William Yang

Accession number: 2003.120

Currently on display: Gallery Six (Tim Fairfax Gallery)

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Artist and subject

William Yang (age 37 in 1980)

Peter Allen (age 36 in 1980)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.

Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes

Patrick White by William Yang

Portrait story

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

Paul Kelly, 2004 Jon Campbell
Paul Kelly, 2004 Jon Campbell
Paul Kelly, 2004 Jon Campbell
Paul Kelly, 2004 Jon Campbell

Face the Music

Previous exhibition, 2005

Australia has become recognised for the range and talent of its musicians, composers, conductors and celebrities in general associated with the music industry

Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang
Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang
Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang
Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang

William Yang

Australian Chinese

Previous exhibition, 2001

William Yang's art is about the telling of stories, his work is an intriguing mixture of philosophy, autobiography, social history and documentary imbued with a sense of the artist's own curiosity, humanity and humour

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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.