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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.

Sir Laurence McIntyre

Louis Kahan

graphite on paper (sheet: 44.5 cm x 65.4 cm)

Sir Laurence McIntyre CBE (1912-1981) diplomat and public servant, was Australian ambassador to the UN during the 1970s. Upon graduation from the University of Tasmania he gained a Rhodes scholarship; after leaving Oxford, in 1940 he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs. Seven years later he became the head of its Pacific Division. After serving as High Commissioner in Malaya, from 1954 to 1957 he was Senior External Affairs Representative in London. He was Australian ambassador to Indonesia from 1957 to 1960 and to Japan from 1960 to 1965 (he was knighted in 1963). From 1965 to 1970 he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of External Affairs. In 1970 he was appointed Australian Ambassador to the UN. In October 1973 he took on the most crucial role for an Australian diplomat since HV Evatt was involved with the formation of the UN in 1945, when he became President of the UN Security Council during the Arab-Israeli war. Although it was simply his turn to serve as president (the presidents of the Security Council rotate monthly in alphabetical order) he was commended for the manner in which he conducted the explosive negotiations. He later described this period as 'a pretty strenuous month.' In retirement he served as Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs from 1976 to 1979. The McIntyre Bluffs in the Antarctic were named in his honour in 2000.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Louis Kahan/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2006.14

Currently not on display

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Subject professions

Government and leadership

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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© 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.