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Hal Hattam
, 1960

by Fred Williams

oil on masonite (support: 67.5 cm x 55.0 cm)

Harold 'Hal' Hattam (1913-1994), obstetrician, artist and art collector, came to Australia from his native Scotland at the age of seven. Establishing a medical practice in Melbourne, he began to paint with no formal training. After falling in with a group including Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, John Perceval, Leonard French, Fred Williams and Clifton Pugh he abandoned medicine for a time to concentrate on his art. Between 1962 and 1988 he held a number of solo exhibitions, mostly of seascapes, that drew admiration from critics including Patrick McCaughey. Hattam and his wife Kate acquired many works by artists in their circle and beyond. Credited as the first private collectors to embrace Fred Williams's art wholeheartedly, they built up a substantial group of his paintings from 1958 onward.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the Hattam family in memory of Hal and Kate Hattam 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2006.36