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Portrait of Andrew Garran
, c 1895

by Tom Roberts

oil on cedar panel (frame: 72.5 cm x 44.5 cm, support: 61.0 cm x 33.0 cm)

On loan to the National Portrait Gallery

Andrew Garran (1825–1901), journalist and politician, came to Australia in 1850 on account of ill health, and began work as a preacher and journalist in Adelaide. There, in due course, he became the editor of the South Australian Register. In 1856 John Fairfax appointed him assistant editor of the Sydney Morning Herald; he was its editor from 1873 to 1885, during which period the paper established its reputation for serious and intelligent contribution to public affairs in New South Wales. In 1887 he was appointed to the Legislative Council; he resigned five years later to become president of the Council of Arbitration, but returned to politics from 1895 to 1898. He served on various boards and inquiries, and was a commissioner for the Philadelphia International Exhibition of 1876 and the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879.

This work is from the series of portraits on cedar panels painted by Tom Roberts during the 1890s. Much like Roberts and his friends Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton and Fred McCubbin had utilised cigar box lids to create works for the 9 x 5 Impression Exhibition in 1889, some of Roberts ‘panel portraits’ are thought to have been painted on boards that had previously been used to hold lengths of cloth.

On loan from the Garran family
Accession number: LOAN2009.54