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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.

Mungo MacCullum

Louis Kahan

fibre-tipped pen on paper (sheet: 45.7 cm x 30.5 cm)

Mungo Ballardie MacCallum (1913-1999), journalist, novelist and poet, was the third in the MacCallum dynasty of scholars, writers and academics. He joined the Sydney Morning Herald as a cadet in 1933, and a few years later, declared unfit for war service, he became the editor of the military journal Salt. In 1952 he began work at the ABC, where he wrote some powerful radio scripts. After a stint at the BBC funded by the Imperial Relations Trust, he returned to Australia in 1956 for the opening of ABC television, subsequently spending several years as an interviewer and moderator. Throughout the 1960s he wrote criticism for Nation, an intellectual journal. Known as an elegant man-about-town and entertaining interlocutor, MacCallum produced plays, poems, essays, an autobiography and two novels over the course of his career. His son with Diana Wentworth, also named Mungo MacCallum, became one of Australia's leading political journalists.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2017.88

Currently not on display

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Subject professions

Media and communications

Donated by

Lily Kahan (52 portraits)

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.

Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan
Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

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

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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.