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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.

George Reid paperweight an unknown artist

Some prime ministers

General content

Sarah Engledow explores the history of the prime ministers and artists featured in the exhibition.

Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish

Primed Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen KGAK GCMG GCVO KBE QC, 2006 by Rick Amor

Prima facie

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow casts a judicious eye over portraits in the Victorian Bar’s Peter O’Callaghan QC Portrait Gallery.

Tilman Ruff, 2019 Nikki Toole
Tilman Ruff, 2019 Nikki Toole
Tilman Ruff, 2019 Nikki Toole

Tilman Ruff, 2019 Nikki Toole

Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2019

At Thurulgoona - Mrs Tamara 'Tamie' Fraser AO, 2018 Evert Ploeg
At Thurulgoona - Mrs Tamara 'Tamie' Fraser AO, 2018 Evert Ploeg
At Thurulgoona - Mrs Tamara 'Tamie' Fraser AO, 2018 Evert Ploeg

At Thurulgoona - Mrs Tamara 'Tamie' Fraser AO, 2018 Evert Ploeg

Portrait, oil on linen

Courtesy of the Australiana Fund

Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke, c. 1976 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane
Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke, c. 1976 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane
Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke, c. 1976 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane

Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke, c. 1976 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane

Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Malcolm Fraser Louis Kahan
Malcolm Fraser Louis Kahan
Malcolm Fraser Louis Kahan

Malcolm Fraser, Louis Kahan

Portrait, fibre-tipped pen on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Peter Wilmoth, age 12, with copies of Our World 1974 Courtesy of the author

Paper, boy

Magazine article by Peter Wilmoth, 2016

Peter Wilmoth’s boy-journalist toolkit for antagonising an Australian political giant.

"Lao Fei" Stephen FitzGerald, 2003 Dalu Zhao

Recollections of a sinologist sitter

Magazine article by Professor Stephen FitzGerald AO, 2016

Professor Stephen Fitzgerald, Australia’s first Ambassador to China, traces the historical course from sino-australian cultural engagement to a maturing Australian identity.

Malcolm Fraser, 1990 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley

Country man

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Angus Trumble’s tribute to the late Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser.

Discussion between Bob Hawke and Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Burunga Festival, Northern Territory, 1988 (printed 2015) Sue Ford
Discussion between Bob Hawke and Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Burunga Festival, Northern Territory, 1988 (printed 2015) Sue Ford
Discussion between Bob Hawke and Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Burunga Festival, Northern Territory, 1988 (printed 2015) Sue Ford

Discussion between Bob Hawke and Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Burunga Festival, Northern Territory, 1988 (printed 2015) Sue Ford

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

First study for portrait of Malcolm Fraser, 1981 Bryan Westwood
First study for portrait of Malcolm Fraser, 1981 Bryan Westwood
First study for portrait of Malcolm Fraser, 1981 Bryan Westwood

First study for portrait of Malcolm Fraser, 1981 Bryan Westwood

Portrait, oil on canvas laid on board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

image not online

Malcolm Fraser, Randwick Racecourse, 1975 (printed 2002) Roger Scott

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph selenium toned on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Sir Zelman Cowen, 1982 Andrew Sibley
Sir Zelman Cowen, 1982 Andrew Sibley
Sir Zelman Cowen, 1982 Andrew Sibley

Sir Zelman Cowen, 1982 Andrew Sibley

Portrait, pencil, brush and ink on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Malcolm Fraser, 1990 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley
Malcolm Fraser, 1990 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley
Malcolm Fraser, 1990 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley

Malcolm Fraser, 1990 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley

Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

Sir Ian Potter, 1973 Bryan Westwood
Sir Ian Potter, 1973 Bryan Westwood
Sir Ian Potter, 1973 Bryan Westwood

Sir Ian Potter, 1973 Bryan Westwood

Portrait, oil on composition board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Lady Primrose Potter 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.