Skip to main content
Menu

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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Sir Ian Potter

1973
Bryan Westwood

oil on composition board (frame: 109.0 cm x 109.5 cm, sight: 91.0 cm x 90.3 cm)

Sir Ian Potter (1902– 1994), company director, stockbroker, merchant banker and philanthropist, was the founder of the Ian Potter Foundation, one of Australia’s major philanthropic bodies. An enigmatic self-made man, Potter worked full- time while studying economics full-time at Sydney University; he graduated top of his year. In 1936 he moved to Melbourne to found the stockbroking firm Ian Potter & Co. Over his career he served on the boards of twenty-five companies, travelling often to the US and Europe. He retired from Potter and Co in 1967, three years after creating the Ian Potter Foundation. During his lifetime alone, its grants amounted to more than $22 million, and he himself made large donations to the arts, hospitals, universities, sciences, social welfare and environment and heritage conservation until he died. Knighted in 1962, Potter was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science in 1978 for his ‘conspicuous service to the cause of science’.

Bryan Westwood (1930–2000), painter and printmaker, was largely self-taught, although he took some classes with Justin O’Brien, Jeffrey Smart and Dorothy Thornhill in the 1960s. Westwood first exhibited paintings of streets and buildings of a vaguely surrealist nature at the Bonython Galleries in 1969. He later turned to photorealist portraits, many of them depicting his artist friends. One such, of artist and critic Elwyn Lynn, won him the Archibald Prize of 1989; he won the prize again in 1992 with an unnerving portrayal of Prime Minister Paul Keating. Between 1972 and 1992 he held solo exhibitions annually. The National Portrait Gallery has portraits by Westwood of Vincent, Warwick and James Fairfax, Bart Cummings, Justin O’Brien, Sir Ian McLennan, Tim Storrier and Malcolm Fraser. This painting, considered by Lady Potter to be the most convincing portrayal of her late husband, was part of the seminal exhibition Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery in 1992–93.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Lady Primrose Potter 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Bryan Westwood/Copyright Agency, 2022

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Bryan Westwood (age 43 in 1973)

Sir Ian Potter (age 71 in 1973)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Lady Primrose Potter AC (1 portrait)

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency