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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 Member of the Upper House "One of the Olden Time" [The Hon. John Alston Wallace M.L.C.] from the series "Masks and Faces"

1874
Tom Durkin and The Weekly Times (publisher)

lithograph on paper (sheet: 32.5 cm x 18.5 cm)

John Alston Wallace (1824–1901), storekeeper, hotelier and mining entrepreneur, came to Melbourne in 1852 to try his luck on the goldfields. Within a year, he’d had sufficient success to be enabled to open general stores at Bendigo. He later opened a similar business at the Ovens River (Beechworth) diggings before entering the hostelry trade, establishing the Star Hotel chain throughout northern Victoria. At the same time, Wallace invested in various mining concerns, devoting his energies to these projects after selling his hotels in the early 1860s. Over the subsequent two decades, he built a portfolio that included gold, quartz and lead-mining ventures in the Chiltern Valley and Ovens and Goulburn River districts, as well as in Queensland and New South Wales. A generous donor to hospitals and the Salvation Army, Wallace was elected to the Legislative Council in 1873. Rutherglen, Victoria is named for his hometown in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Artist and subject

Tom Durkin (age 21 in 1874)

The Weekly Times

Hon. John A. Wallace (age 50 in 1874)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Related information

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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.

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 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