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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 Robert Garran

1922
Bernard Hall

oil on canvas (frame: 77.5 cm x 62.3 cm depth 6.5 cm, support: 61.0 cm x 46.0 cm)

Robert Garran GCMG (1867–1957) was the first-ever Australian Commonwealth public servant. The son of journalist and politician Andrew Garran, he studied at the University of Sydney and was admitted to the bar in 1891. He then became active in the Federation movement and on 1 January 1901 was named secretary of the Attorney-General’s department and parliamentary draftsman. Having overseen the formation of the first Federal departments and crafted legislation for services including defence and communications, Garran was appointed to the new post of solicitor-general in 1916. He attended the meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1918, the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the Imperial Conference of 1923, and the League of Nations in 1930. After retiring from the public service in early 1932 he took silk and returned to private practice. In the 1930s he was chair of the Book Censorship Board and rebutted the case for the secession of the state of Western Australia. He was a powerful advocate for the establishment of the Australian National University (and its first graduate) and a long-time supporter of the arts and intellectual pursuits. Upon his death, Robert Menzies said ‘What a man he was, and how grateful we all are for his life and his kind.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of John Garran 2019. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

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

Bernard Hall (age 63 in 1922)

Sir Robert Garran (age 55 in 1922)

Donated by

John Garran (1 portrait)

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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.

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.

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