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Portrait of Manning Clark at Wapengo NSW
, 1972

by Arthur Boyd

oil on canvas (frame: 101.5 cm x 92.5 cm, unframed: 99.5 cm x 90.5 cm)

On loan to the National Portrait Gallery

Manning Clark AC (1915-1991), historian, lectured at the University of Melbourne from 1944 to 1949, when he became Foundation Professor of History at Canberra University College. This institution became the Australian National University, where Clark was Professor and Head of the History department and later first Professor of Australian History. He left ANU in 1975. Six years later, while at work on his monumental, controversial, six-volume A History of Australia (1962-87) he was named Australian of the Year. In his autobiographical works The Puzzles of Childhood and The Quest for Grace (1989-90) Clark wrote that he had 'learned that Australia did not have to belong to the tough; that Australia could and should belong to the lovers and believers'. Since his death, there has been lively public debate about Clark's legacy as a historian - the disagreement, in itself, helping to keep interest in the national narrative alive. Arthur Boyd was living in England when he was invited to take up a Creative Arts Fellowship at the Australian National University in 1971. The portrait of Clark and his dog Tuppence at Wapengo, on the New South Wales south coast, dates from the period of his Fellowship. Arthur Boyd was himself named Australian of the Year in 1995.

On loan from the Clark family
Accession number: LOAN2006.21