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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.

Roy Grounds, 1961

Louis Kahan

pen and ink on paper (sheet: 54.0 cm x 37.8 cm)

Sir Roy Grounds (1905-1981) was one of Australia's leading modernist architects. In 1932, while apprenticed to a Melbourne architectural firm, Grounds won an award that enabled him to travel in England and the USA. Returning to Australia and setting up a partnership in the mid-1930s, he introduced the International Style to Melbourne. After the war, he consolidated his reputation in the city with a series of houses and blocks of flats, the latter amongst the city's earliest. During this period he was involved with curriculum development for the School of Architecture at Melbourne University, at which he subsequently took a degree himself and at which he lectured in design. In 1953 Grounds entered into partnership with other leading Victorian architects Frederick Romberg and Robin Boyd. Three years later the firm won the competition to design the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra. Grounds was the sole architect of the Sulman award-winning landmark (soon nicknamed the Martian Embassy) which was completed in 1959 at a total cost of £260 000 including furnishings, fittings and landscaping. That year Grounds Romberg and Boyd won the commission to design the National Gallery of Victoria and Cultural Centre, with Grounds in charge. In 1962, when the partnership was dissolved, Grounds took the commission with him; he was to spend the next twenty years on the project. Grounds was awarded the RAIA gold medal in 1968 and knighted the same year. In 1969 he was made a life fellow of the RAIA.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Estate of Louis Kahan

Accession number: 2006.12

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Louis Kahan (age 56 in 1961)

Roy Grounds (age 56 in 1961)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Donated by

Lily Kahan (52 portraits)

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.

Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

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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.