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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.

Sir John Gorton

n.d.
Louis Kahan

fibre-tipped pen on paper (sheet: 38.5 cm x 28.2 cm)

Sir John Grey Gorton GCMG AC CH, Australia’s 19th prime minister, was elected Liberal Party leader on 10 January 1968. He left office voluntarily in March 1971.

The National Portrait Gallery has more than 60 works by Louis Kahan, most of them drawings. Eight were amongst the Gallery’s earliest purchases in 1998. Nine more were donated by the artist’s widow, Mrs Lily Kahan, in 2006. A few have come into the collection by purchase or donation from various individuals. In 2017 Mrs Kahan offered curators the opportunity to select desirable portraits from drawings remaining in the artist’s studio. A group of 43 was chosen, many of them drawn ‘from life’ as Kahan watched interviews on television current affairs programs.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Louis Kahan/Copyright Agency, 2021

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.

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Lily Kahan (52 portraits)

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.

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke

Primed

Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency