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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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Sir Robert Gibson

1934
Paul Montford

cast bronze on granite base (72.0 cm x 59.0 cm depth 38.0 cm)

Sir Robert Gibson GBE (1863–1934), businessman and financier, came to Australia in 1890 having worked as a designer and manager for a steel company in Glasgow and London. In Melbourne, he established the Austral Manufacturing Co and then the Lux Foundry Pty Ltd, and in 1922 became president of the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures. Appointed Victoria’s representative on the Central Coal Board in 1916, he was deputy chairman of the Repatriation Commission from 1917 to 1920; chairman of the royal commission on public expenditure from 1918 to 1921; a member of the State Electricity Commission from 1919; and a representative on the board of Commonwealth Oil Refineries from 1920. As Chairman of the Board of the Commonwealth Bank (then Australia’s central bank), he came into conflict with Labor Prime Minister, James Scullin, whose 1931 request for increased credit for unemployment relief was refused by Gibson. Gibson was alternately celebrated and vilified for his stand. Such controversies gravely affected his health, and he died in Melbourne in January 1934.

Paul Montford came to Australia from England in 1921, attracted by the light, which he believed to be conducive to monumental sculpture. Settling in Melbourne, he soon created controversy with his avant-garde opinions about the social and environmental role of three-dimensional art. A zestful worker, in 1927 he was commissioned to produce the external sculptures of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, and he made the eight relief portraits in the King’s Hall of Old Parliament House in Canberra.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of The Australian Industry Group 2012

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

Paul Montford (age 66 in 1934)

Sir Robert Gibson (age 71 in 1934)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Australian Industry Group (1 portrait)

Related portraits

1. Sidney Myer, 1936. All Paul Montford.

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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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