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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.

Hal Hattam, 1960

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
Gift of the Hattam family in memory of Hal and Kate Hattam 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Fred Williams

Accession number: 2006.36

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Fred Williams (age 33 in 1960)

Hal Hattam (age 47 in 1960)

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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.

Clifton Pugh painting in the studio, 1974 Fred Williams
Clifton Pugh painting in the studio, 1974 Fred Williams
Clifton Pugh painting in the studio, 1974 Fred Williams
Clifton Pugh painting in the studio, 1974 Fred Williams

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

Kate Hattam, 1956 Clifton Pugh
Kate Hattam, 1956 Clifton Pugh
Kate Hattam, 1956 Clifton Pugh
Kate Hattam, 1956 Clifton Pugh

Melbourne experience

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

Diana Warnes explores the lives of Hal and Katherine 'Kate' Hattam through their portraits painted by Fred Williams and Clifton Pugh.

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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.