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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.

Kate Hattam

1956
Clifton Pugh

oil on board (frame: 135.5 cm x 107.0 cm, support: 122.0 cm x 91.0 cm)

Kathleen 'Kate' Hattam (1923–2004), stylesetter and art collector, was advertising manager at Georges department store in Melbourne, where she was at one time said to be the highest-paid woman in Australia. She met Hal Hattam, doctor, keen amateur painter and patron of the arts, in England during the war. In Melbourne, the couple became friends with a group of inner-city intellectuals and aesthetes, and entertained and encouraged many emerging artists who have since become household names. At Kate’s behest, artists including John Perceval, Arthur Boyd and Leonard French designed wrapping paper and greeting cards for Georges. The Hattam family homes in Canterbury and South Yarra housed an unrivalled body of works by artists in their circle and beyond.

Clifton Pugh was a close friend of the Hattams and they championed his work. They went regularly to Pugh's home, Dunmoochin, on weekends, and also saw the Pughs at Shoreham, where each family had a house. This portrait captures Kate's style and determination in Pugh's characteristic elongated forms and bold colour against an abstract background. Pugh recalled that it was rare for him to make portraits in this period, 'but then of course, I knew Kate so well. It was a picture that I wanted to do.'

Purchased 2006
© Shane Pugh

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

Clifton Pugh (age 32 in 1956)

Kate Hattam (age 33 in 1956)

Subject professions

Media and communications

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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 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.

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