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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.

A Politician "Unlock the Lands!" [The Hon. James MacPhearson Grant]

1874
Tom Durkin and The Weekly Times (publisher)

from the series ‘Masks and Faces’
lithograph on paper (sheet: 33.5 cm x 20 cm)

James Macpherson Grant (1822–1885), lawyer and politician, was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, and was fourteen years old when his family emigrated to Sydney. After a period in California and then on the Bendigo diggings, he settled in Melbourne and returned to practising law, having completed his training in Sydney in the 1840s. Known for his radical views, Grant addressed a public meeting in Melbourne in support of the Eureka rebels in December 1854 and later successfully defended them, for no fee, against charges of sedition. Grant entered Parliament in 1855, representing Sandhurst on the Legislative Council before being elected to the Legislative Assembly on the advent of responsible government the following year. As President of the Board of Lands and Works and Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey from 1864 to 1870, Grant succeeded in passing a land act which enabled selectors to take up 20 acres at two shillings per acre. A second land bill allowed the selection of up to 320 acres conditional upon cultivating and improving the land, with the option of converting to freehold. Returning to the Legislative Assembly in 1871, Grant twice served as Minister for Justice and was Chief Secretary and Minister for Public Instruction between 1881 and 1883.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

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

Tom Durkin (age 21 in 1874)

The Weekly Times

Hon. James M. Grant (age 52 in 1874)

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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.

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Showing character

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour on Tom Durkin playing with Melbourne's manhood.

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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.

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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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