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The Federal Leader Edmund Barton
, c.1900

by Nelson Illingworth

cast plaster, painted (including base: 32.8 cm x 21.8 cm depth 13.3 cm)

The Rt. Hon Sir Edmund Barton GCMG KC PC (1849–1920), Australia’s first Prime Minister, studied law in his native Sydney and was admitted to the Bar in late 1871. Barton entered the NSW Parliament in 1879, and became Speaker at the early age of 34. For several years in the early 1890s he was Attorney-General. However, for the remainder of that decade his focus was Federation, for which he was the leading campaigner, presenting and explaining the constitution bill to the British Parliament in 1900. In 1901 he became Australia’s first Prime Minister. He resigned in 1903, to spend the rest of his life as a judge of the High Court. Sculptor Nelson Illingworth studied drawing and sculpting in Brighton before gaining employment as a model-maker and modeller with Royal Doulton in London. He emigrated to Sydney in 1892, later establishing himself as a manufacturer of domestic and garden ceramic wares while also producing a number of portrait busts.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2012
Accession number: 2012.112