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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.

Peter Hall

n.d.
Louis Kahan

fibre-tipped pen and pen and ink on paper (sheet: 47.9 cm x 32.9 cm)

Peter Hall (1931-1995), architect, completed the Sydney Opera House after the Danish architect Jørn Utzon resigned from the project and left Australia in 1966. He gained a travelling scholarship to study modernist architecture in Europe where he met Utzon. Hall was offered the job of designer appointed by the government to finish the ‘building’ which Utzon had left after other architects had refused the job. Once he had talked to Utzon, satisfied that he would never return, Hall took on the formidable task. Radical compromise to Utzon’s plans was required and Hall carried it through despite the ire and scorn of the design and architecture community. Later, he worked privately and in the Department of Construction and Housing in Canberra. Hall died prematurely, alcoholic and bankrupt in 1995. The 40th anniversary celebrations of the Sydney Opera House in 2013 virtually ignored the post-Utzon phase of the building, which was more than half of its construction time. Yet research since 2007 has built Hall’s non-existent reputation and it is now widely acknowledged that his valiant work on the building cost him his career.

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

Artist and subject

Louis Kahan

Peter Hall

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.

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Previous exhibition, 2019

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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