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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.

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First study for portrait of Malcolm Fraser

1981
Bryan Westwood

oil on canvas laid on board (frame: 88.0 cm x 73.5 cm, support: 73.0 cm x 58.0 cm)

The Rt. Hon John Malcolm Fraser AC CH PC (1930-2015) was Prime Minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983. A skilled political tactician, Fraser came to power in controversial circumstances following the dismissal of the Whitlam government after the opposition-controlled Senate refused to pass supply. Fraser won the ensuing election in a massive landslide, with a 55-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Fraser was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Oxford University and entered Federal politics in 1955. An aloof but domineering figure within his own party, Fraser was dubbed ‘the Prefect’ by his colleagues. In office he made cuts to public sector spending undoing many of Whitlam’s reforms, yet in recent years he called for a balance between national needs and market demands. Having stated that the Rudd Labor government was worse than the Whitlam government, he resigned from the Liberal Party in 2010, observing that it was ‘unrecognisable’ as the party he had joined more than fifty years ago. After retiring from politics in 1983, he was active in human rights and international aid agencies.

This work is a study for a portrait painted for the Parliament House Art Collection.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012
© 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 51 in 1981)

Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH (age 51 in 1981)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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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