Skip to main content
Menu

Manning Clark
, 1985

by Rick Amor

pencil on paper (sheet: 24.0 cm x 18.0 cm)

Manning Clark AC (1915–1991), historian, lectured at the University of Melbourne from 1944 to 1949, when became Foundation Professor of History at Canberra University College. This institution became the Australian National University, where Clark was Professor and Head of the History department and later first Professor of Australian History. He left ANU in 1975. In 1981, while still at work on his monumental, controversial, six-volume A History of Australia (1962–87) he was named Australian of the Year. In his autobiographical works The Puzzles of Childhood and The Quest for Grace (1989–90) Clark wrote that he had ‘learned that Australia did not have to belong to the tough; that Australia could and should belong to the lovers and believers’. Since his death, there has been lively public debate about Clark’s legacy as a historian – the disagreement, in itself, helping to keep interest in the national narrative alive. Mark McKenna’s brilliant biography, published in 2012, adds to the complexity of Clark’s case.

Rick Amor was acquainted with Manning Clark through his father-in-law, Mick Williams, who lectured in history at the ANU for twenty years. He drew Clark while Clark was sitting to Clifton Pugh for an Archibald portrait. Later, he translated his drawings into a print for Overland. The location of Pugh’s portrait of Clark is unknown.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2005.23