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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.

George Reid paperweight

an unknown artist

painted cast iron

This souvenir of George Reid came onto the market shortly before he departed Australia to become the country’s first High Commissioner in London. Sydney’s Evening News carried an advertisement for the object on 12 January 1910:

‘Sir George Reid has been immortalised by being cast in a statuette of Lithgow iron. The statuette is 5 inches high. Farmer and Company, Ltd, are selling the statuettes, which can be used as a paperweight or ornament.’

William Morris Hughes and George Reid were both popular targets for caricaturists - Hughes for his wizened frame and large ears, and Reid for what Alfred Deakin called 'an immense, unwieldy jelly-like stomach' and 'little legs apparently bowed beneath its weight'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2006

Accession number: 2006.81

Currently not on display

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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.

Billy Hughes paperweight, n.d. an unknown artist
Billy Hughes paperweight, n.d. an unknown artist
Billy Hughes paperweight, n.d. an unknown artist
Billy Hughes paperweight, n.d. an unknown artist

Mugshots

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

A toast to the acquisition of an unconventional new portrait of former Prime Minister, Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish
Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish

Primed

Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.