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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.

Peter Rushforth, 1971 (printed 2009)

Douglas Thompson

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 48.2 cm x 32.7 cm, image: 40.8 cm x 31.0 cm)

Peter Rushforth AM (1920-2015), potter, was born in Sydney and studied art at the Royal Melbourne Technical College after World War 2, during which he had been a prisoner of the Japanese on the Thai-Burma Railway. In 1951 he went to teach at the National Art School in East Sydney, in due course becoming head teacher of ceramics. In 1964 he spent five months in Kyoto, closely observing traditional pottery methods, and in 1967 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship enabling him to observe potting in Europe and America. He established a pottery at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales in 1969, and having retired from teaching in 1978 he built his first wood-fired kiln there in 1981. Thereafter, he became renowned for high-fired unique stoneware vessels using jun (chun), tenmoku, limestone and ash glazes. In 1985 Rushforth was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to pottery, and his work was the focus of a retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. His Peace Vessel sits on the contemplation deck over Konyu Cutting in the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Thailand.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009

Accession number: 2009.144

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Douglas Thompson

Peter Rushforth AO (age 51 in 1971)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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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.