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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.

Portrait of Andrew Garran, c 1895

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

Image not available (L)

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

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Tom Roberts (age 39 in 1895)

Andrew Garran (age 70 in 1895)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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.

The sisters, 1904
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The sisters, 1904
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Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2012

Sarah Engledow is seduced by the portraits and the connections between the artists and their subjects in the exhibition Impressions: Painting light and life.

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong), 1893 Tom Roberts
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Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong), 1893 Tom Roberts

An actress and her fans

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr. Sarah Engledow discovers the amazing life of Ms. Hilda Spong, little remembered star of the stage, who was captured in a portrait by Tom Roberts.

Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie
Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie
Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie
Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie

Picture this...

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.

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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.