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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 Thomson

1970
Ern McQuillan OAM

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/sheet: 40.5 cm x 30.3 cm)

Peter Thomson AO CBE (1929-2018), golf champion, began to play the game at the age of 12. Winning Melbourne’s Royal Park Club Championship at 15, at 20 he turned professional and at 24 won the British Open using a set of borrowed clubs. Dubbed ‘Placid Pete’ for his unemotional play, he relied on accuracy rather than power to win the British Open five times (1954-56, 1958, 1965), the Australian Open 3 times and the New Zealand Open 9 times. He won the Canadian World Cup with fellow Australian Kel Nagle in 1954 and 1959, and in a professional career spanning nearly 40 years he won open championships in many countries; in the Senior PGA tour of 1985 he won a record 9 tournaments. He is a foundation member of Sport Australia’s Hall of Fame and the US Golf Association Hall of Fame and was ABC Australian Sportsman of the Year in 1957. His career outside golf encompassed journalism, television commentary and golf course design. In 1999 he was awarded runner-up in the Golf Course Designers of the Year award for his work on the Golden Pebble Golf Club in China. The National Sports Museum at the MCG mounted Blazing a trail: Peter Thomson at the British Open in 2014.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2004
© Michael McQuillan's Classic Photographs

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Ern McQuillan OAM (age 44 in 1970)

Peter Thomson AO MBE CBE (age 41 in 1970)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Supported by

L Gordon Darling AC CMG (38 portraits supported)

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.

Betty Cuthbert
Betty Cuthbert
Betty Cuthbert
Betty Cuthbert

Hop, skip, shoot

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

Former NPG Deputy Director, Simon Elliott talks with Ern McQuillan about his life and career as a sports photographer.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Darling Portrait Prize

Previous exhibition, 2020

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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