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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.

Clyde Cameron

1974
Clifton Pugh

oil on masonite (frame: 139.0 cm x 108.0 cm, support: 123.0 cm x 91.5 cm)

Clyde Cameron (1913-2008), Labor politician and historian, worked as a shearer and union organizer before serving as a Member for Hindmarsh between 1949 and 1980. He was to spend 28 of these 31 years on the Opposition benches. In 1969, after twenty years in the House of Representatives, he allied himself with the ascending Gough Whitlam. Having been acknowledged by Whitlam as an ‘architect of victory’ when Labor came to power in 1972, he was appointed Minister for Labour in 1972, and Labour and Immigration in 1974. By 1975, however, Whitlam had lost confidence in him and Cameron’s commission was withdrawn by the Governor General, Sir John Kerr. Though he accepted the Science and Consumer Affairs portfolio, he never forgave Whitlam, and he was a vitriolic enemy. The disintegration of the relationship between the prime minister and his former prop was another in a series of scandals for the government, which fell five months later. Cameron retained his seat for another five years, retiring before the 1980 election. In the 1980s and 1990s Cameron recorded a series of ‘reminiscential conversations’ with people whom he had met through politics (including Liberal figures such as Malcolm Fraser, Paul Hasluck, Nancy Buttfield and Garfield Barwick), the transcripts of which run to some 15,500 pages.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Estate of Clyde Cameron 2012
© Shane Pugh

Artist and subject

Clifton Pugh (age 50 in 1974)

Clyde Cameron (age 61 in 1974)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

The Estate of Clyde Cameron (1 portrait)

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.

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

Self portrait, 1954
Self portrait, 1954
Self portrait, 1954
Self portrait, 1954

A sketch for some portraits

Magazine article by Judith Pugh, 2005

Judith Pugh reflects on Clifton Pugh's approach to portrait making.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency