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History of the Historic Memorials Collection

Students listen to a guide explain the portraits of Prime Ministers at Australian Parliament House.

Cultural warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this webpage contains the names and images of deceased persons.  

The portraits of Australia’s highest office-holders displayed in the halls and corridors of Parliament House belong to an extraordinary art collection, the Historic Memorials Collection (HMC).

Established in 1911, the HMC is Australia’s longest-running commissioning art program.

Unique among Australian public collections, the HMC purposefully chronicles Australia’s highest national office-holders, commissioning portraits of Governors-General, the Parliament’s Presiding Officers, Prime Ministers, and Chief Justices of the High Court. It also includes portraits of other accomplished Australians, important parliamentary ‘firsts’, and commemorative records of significant parliamentary events.

Many HMC artists have been finalists and winners of important Australian art prizes, including the most prestigious prize for portraiture, the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s Archibald Prize.

As at 2021, the HMC contains over 260 artworks by prominent Australian artists – and is still growing. In representing the intersection of art and politics, the HMC reflects Australia’s political history and the evolution of official portraiture in Australia.

Genesis

… seldom indeed in the world’s history have a people entered into full possession of their heritage under circumstances so auspicious and with an outlook so full of dazzling promise … We enter on the new year and the new century a united Australian nation.1

On January 1, 1901, ‘six self-governing colonies [which] were under no compulsion to unite’2 forged the bonds of an Australian nation. Joyous celebrations followed, with banquets, military displays, debates, sports carnivals, fireworks, and bonfires ‘sell[ing] the new nation to itself, the United Kingdom, the Dominions and to the rest of the world’.3 The journey to Federation was neither obvious nor easy; Alfred Deakin famously remarked that, to ‘those who watched its inner workings’, Federation ‘must always appear to have been secured by a series of miracles’, its fortunes having ‘visibly trembled in the balance twenty times’.4 Yet the founding fathers, led by Edmund Barton, criss-crossed the country galvanising support for the federal cause, a movement buoyed by democratic ideals and utopian optimism for the nation’s destiny. Indeed, the ‘enthusiasm with which Australians greeted Federation and the first federal Parliament demonstrated that the nation was eager to unite as “one people".5

The new Parliament soon identified a need to recognise and celebrate the people and events associated with the Commonwealth’s formation. For example, in 1908 after the death of Charles Kingston,6 an inaugural Cabinet minister, leading federalist and former South Australian Premier, the Australian Labor Party leader Andrew Fisher declared:

I think it is about time that this Parliament took into its consideration the question of commemorating the memory of some of the eminent public men who have laboured to establish on a worthy and enduring foundation this great Commonwealth.7

He later suggested the ‘desirability of perpetuating, by a bust, or some other suitable memorial’ the memory of Kingston,8 to which Prime Minister Alfred Deakin replied:

Regarding the matter broadly, it seems to us, that this Parliament would desire to have memorials in its own house of the right honorable gentleman, and, possibly, in the future of other men of the same distinction.9

The influential artist Tom Roberts, in a letter to Deakin in March 1910, offered his encouragement:

It disturbs me to think that most of you are likely to go on till the inevitable comes, and leave behind nothing that will give the future anything that will show what you all were as men to look at. Now this is important. I must appeal to you, and it is the duty of the present for the future ... let me ask you to consider the importance of acting early… let these records be painted if not by me by someone you can trust to give faithful representations of the first leaders of the Commonwealth.10

Deakin’s Government fell shortly after. However, the idea was embraced by the new Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher. In 1911 he advised Parliament that ‘government hopes to preserve for the public, in oil or in stone, likenesses of the prominent statesmen’, adding that as ‘time passes the opportunities for getting faithful portraits are becoming fewer and fewer, and that the time is ripe for doing something in the direction indicated’.11 Two months later an allocation of £500 was endorsed ‘for the erection of suitable memorials of the men who have done so much for Australian Federation’.12

Shortly after, on 22 December 1911, the Federal Executive Council established the Historic Memorials Committee (the Committee) as a ‘Committee of consultation and advice in reference to the expenditure of votes for Historic Memorials of Representative Men’.13 The Committee consisted of the Prime Minister, as Chair, as well as the Presiding Officers, the Vice-President of the Executive Council, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. This structure remains the same today. It was immediately recognised that the committee members would need advice on suitable artists, and on aesthetic and technical matters.

In 1912, the Prime Minister’s Department was nominated to administer the newly established Commonwealth Art Advisory Board (CAAB) and Committee.14

The CAAB’s role included advising the government on purchasing art for a new national collection. Many of the artworks purchased by the CAAB became the foundation of the Australian National Gallery (now the National Gallery of Australia) and contributed to the National Library of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery collections. After 1972, CAAB’s responsibilities were handed over to the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council. Today, the Committee is advised by the National Portrait Gallery, and the Department of Parliamentary Services manages the HMC.

First Commissions
At its inaugural meeting on 13 February 1912, the Committee’s first resolution was to commission portraits of the ‘Federal Nobilities’, the leading figures behind Federation.15 The first was of Sir Henry Parkes, the colossus of NSW colonial politics, whose 1889 speech at Tenterfield calling for a ‘great national Government for all Australia’ galvanised the Federation movement.16 This was followed by commissions of other colonial premiers and Federation leaders, Charles Kingston and Sir Samuel Griffith, and Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton.

The Committee also agreed that Governors-General, Prime Ministers, the Presiding Officers, and the Chief Justices of the High Court would also be commemorated. Other unspecified distinguished Australians were to be similarly included.

By August 1912, the first 17 subjects were chosen and a notice calling for artists was placed in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.17 All portraits were to be oil on canvas; however, the choice of size and composition was somewhat flexible. There was a set fee scale according to size and whether the portrait was painted from life, replicated an existing painting, or was made from photographs.18 Once selected, artists were to submit an accurate sketch of the subject and pose for approval prior to undertaking the final portrait, with the CAAB and Committee able to require alterations.

Portrait of NSW Premier Henry Parkes by Julian Ashton for the Historic Memorials Collection. Portrait of Prime Minister George Reid by John Longstaff for the Historic Memorials Collection.
Julian Ashton, Henry Parkes,1913, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection.
John Campbell Longstaff, George Reid,1916, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection.

Some commentators expressed doubts about the quality of the works that would come from the adopted commissioning process. Others acknowledged that ‘the Historic Memorials idea is a windfall for Australian artists, who do not often get a chance at work of the kind with a reasonable figure attached’.19 Certainly, the ‘commissions confirmed the success of painters, both in Australia and abroad’, their reputations bolstered by both the portrait itself and by the standing of the subject.20

By January 1914, portrait commissions had been issued to: Julian Ashton (Henry Parkes); Norman Carter (Edmund Barton); George Coates (Lord Northcote); Alec Colquhoun (Charles ‘Carty’ Salmon); E Phillips Fox (Andrew Fisher); George Lambert (George Reid); John Longstaff (Lord Dudley); Frederick McCubbin (Alfred Deakin); Max Meldrum (Lord Denman and Samuel Griffith); Ambrose Patterson (Charles Kingston); James Quinn (Earl of Hopetoun); Tom Roberts (Lord Tennyson); John Watkins (Richard Baker); George Webb (Frederick Holder); and Leslie Wilkie (Albert Gould).21 With many of these artists based abroad, the CAAB appointed Bertram Mackennal22 as its agent.

In November the same year, the Committee stipulated that future commissions should be given to Australian resident artists due to the ‘difficulty in exercising proper supervision and control over the work’,23 and further required that subjects of portraits should be in a standing position.24

The catalyst for this was Lambert’s portrait of Prime Minister George Reid, which the CAAB rejected, finding it ‘particularly unsatisfactory and a caricature upon the distinguished gentleman it is supposed to represent’.25 Though Reid himself was quite satisfied with the portrait, the Committee subsequently bought a replacement painted by John Longstaff. This would not be the last rejection, but instead raised the question of ‘how artists had to balance producing an accurate representation with the opinions and requests of the subject – and more importantly in this case – whoever commissioned the work’.26 The new commissioning rules were to be abandoned and other new requirements would be introduced and revoked over time. By the end of World War I, 24 works had been acquired.

Scope and overview of the collection
Since 1912, the Committee has commissioned portraits of Governors-General, the Presiding Officers, Prime Ministers, and Chief Justices of the High Court. Monarchs also feature but not all are represented. For example, there is no portrait of Queen Victoria or of King George VI in the collection, while the omission of King Edward VIII is more understandable given the brevity of his reign.

Perhaps the most recognisable portrait in the HMC is the ‘wattle painting’ of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by William Dargie. Intended to commemorate the historic 1954 Royal Tour of Australia, the painting was commissioned by Melbourne industrialist James P Beveridge27 and entered the HMC in 1955.

On occasions, the Committee broadened its remit to commission portraits of early explorers and literary figures. For example, in 1926 the portraits of Captain Sir Charles Sturt, Sir Joseph Banks and the poet Henry Kendall were completed and became part of the HMC, in connection with the Government’s proposal to establish a national gallery. The commissioning of famous explorers and literary figures ended in 1940 with the portrait of Australian writer and bush poet Henry Lawson by Norman Carter.

Parliamentary firsts
The Committee has also sought to commemorate important parliamentary ‘firsts’. This began in 1943 to commemorate the first two women elected to the federal Parliament, Enid Lyons to the House of Representatives and Dorothy Tangney to the Senate. To mark this historic moment, the Committee commissioned two female artists: Tempe Manning to paint Tangney and Mary Edwards (also known as Mary Edwell-Burke) to paint Lyons.28 However, both portraits were rejected without official reasons given by the Committee.29 The rejected portrait of Tangney was entered in the 1945 Archibald Prize and Lyons’s portrait, which had been submitted for the 1944 Archibald Prize, was later bought by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.30 New commissions ensued and in 1946 Tangney was painted by Archibald Colquhoun. In 1951, William Dargie, one of the HMC’s most represented artists, completed the official portrait of Lyons.

NAA: A6180, 24/10/79/3
Senator Neville Bonner with his portrait and the artist, Wesley Walters, Parliament House, 1979. Unknown photographer. Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia. NAA: A6180, 24/10/79/3.

Another significant ‘first’ was the commissioned portrait of Neville Bonner, the first Indigenous Australian elected to the federal Parliament,31 by 1979 Archibald Prize winner Wes Walters. Walters’s iconic image of Bonner was later acknowledged in Jude Rae’s portrait of Linda Burney (2018), the first Aboriginal woman elected to the House of Representatives. Burney wore a large, prominent ring, referencing the shining blue ring worn by Bonner.32 Other commissions of parliamentary ‘firsts’ include the first portrait by an Indigenous Australian artist, with Jandamarra Cadd’s portrait of Nova Peris, the first Indigenous woman elected to the Senate, unveiled in 2019.

Commemorative paintings
The HMC has also commissioned commemorative paintings of important events related to parliamentary history. Tom Roberts, the artist an early proponent of the HMC, painted perhaps the most famous of these. Presented to King Edward VII in 1904, his painting, The Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by HRH The Duke of Cornwall and York, 9 May 1901, is on display at Parliament House (on permanent loan from the Royal Collection). Colloquially known as the ‘Big Picture’, it measures three by five metres and comprises over 260 individual portraits. Though not part of the HMC, it set the standard for future commemorative paintings of parliamentary events. Artists were commissioned to paint recognisable likenesses of hundreds of dignitaries, in capturing the significance and grandeur of the occasion. The depiction of these events was a huge undertaking with thousands of people in attendance, and when time to record the event was limited. 

Other commemorative paintings commissioned include the opening of the provisional Parliament House in 1927 by the Duke of York, the opening of a parliamentary session by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1954, and the opening of the new Parliament House in 1988.

William Lister Lister (1859–1943) Federal Capital Site, 1913
William Lister Lister (1859-1943), Federal Capital Site, 1913, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection. 

Notably, the HMC’s only landscape paintings were commissioned in 1912, through a competition inviting artists to submit paintings ‘illustrative of the site upon which it is proposed to erect the Federal Capital of the Commonwealth’.33 The first and second prize-winning entries, both titled The Federal Capital Site became part of the HMC. Painted by William Lister Lister and Theodore Boyd respectively, the works toured nationally to considerable public interest from 1913 to 1916.34

Commissioning process and challenges
Apart from a few direct purchases and donations, most of the works in the HMC have been directly commissioned.

As noted above, despite its prestige, the HMC, like the Archibald Prize, has faced some controversies. Occasionally, the Committee or sitter has rejected the final portrait, and an alternative commissioned.

To minimise the risk of rejection, the Committee follows a rigorous approval and commissioning process.

The current commissioning process starts with the Committee approaching the sitter to nominate a preferred artist from a list provided by the National Portrait Gallery. The artist and sitter meet for sittings and to discuss ideas and negotiate outcomes for the final portrait.

A preparatory sketch in oils on canvas of a pre-determined size must be submitted to the Committee for consideration before the artist can proceed with the final portrait. The artist’s contract can be terminated at any time based on the sketch or the final portrait being deemed unsuitable, although the artist does have the opportunity to rework and resubmit portraits to the Committee.

The final portrait must be accepted by the sitter, the National Portrait Gallery, and all members of the Committee. The criteria for acceptance are such that the work must accord with the approved preparatory sketch and meet appropriate technical standards.

However, the process has not always gone smoothly.

Prime Minister William (Billy) Hughes was a particularly difficult sitter, with multiple artists commissioned to capture his likeness, including Max Meldrum, John Longstaff, and Marion Jones. However, Hughes’s extensive travel schedule made sittings difficult, with the portraits either incomplete, or rejected by the Committee. Eventually, the Committee accepted portraits by both Norman Carter and George Lambert. However, both portraits were found to be unsatisfactory by Hughes, and neither was displayed until 1947 when Hughes finally approved Carter’s portrait.35
 
Detail of a portrait of Prime Minister Billy Hughes by Norman Carter for the Historic Memorials Collection.Portrait of Prime Minister Arthur Fadden by William Dargie for the Historic Memorials Collection.

Norman St Clair Carter (1875-1963), William Morris Hughes1925, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection.
William Alexander Dargie (1912-2003), Arthur William Fadden, 1947, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection.

Even for the award-winning artist William Dargie, who has 11 portraits in the HMC, the commissioning process was not always straightforward. His portrait of Prime Minister Arthur Fadden was one of the most protracted commissions in the HMC’s history. An official war artist, Dargie was commissioned in 1941 to paint Fadden’s portrait, though his imminent departure to the Middle East created a 30-month delay. The portrait was submitted to the Committee in 1943 and accepted the following year, subject to the artist making considerable alterations, including ‘the remodelling of the forehead on the left side [and] the avoidance of the pinched appearance of the mouth’. The changes were made but the Committee ultimately rejected the portrait. In 1945, Dargie began a new portrait which was accepted in 1947, again, subject to further adjustments – this time to the fingers and eyes. Then, 13 years later, the Committee asked Dargie to travel from Melbourne to Canberra to make ‘some alterations to the hands of the portrait’.36 

The similarly renowned artist Bryan Westwood also encountered difficulties, as his portrait of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was approved by the Committee but rejected by the subject.37 The Committee subsequently commissioned another prominent artist heavily featured in the HMC, Ivor Hele, to paint a new portrait of Fraser. The rejected portrait by Westwood remains in the HMC.38

Other challenges have included geographical distance, scheduling conflicts, and, sadly, the death of the sitter or artist.

In October 1939, William McInnes was commissioned to paint Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Robert Menzies. However, McInnes died the following month, leaving Charles Wheeler to take over. His first portrait was rejected by the CAAB due to ‘the painting of the left arm of the sitter, the size of the head, and the general lack of vitality and strength’.39 His second portrait was approved by the Committee in 1946 and hung in Parliament’s King’s Hall, though was vandalised eight years later, and a new portrait commissioned.

Similarly, in 1988 Charles Bush was commissioned to paint the opening of the permanent Parliament House by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Bush died the following year, with only an initial sketch produced. Marcus Beilby was subsequently commissioned to complete the final painting.

Opening of Parliament by the Queen_Charles Bush_1988
Charles William Bush (1919-1989), Opening of Parliament by the Queen (study), 1988, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection.

While wars and the Great Depression also limited the capacity and rate of commissioning, the collection continues to grow and flourish.

Evolution in portraiture and political style
The HMC reflects the evolution in artistic conventions as well as broader social changes and the way that political leaders seek to be portrayed.

HMC commissions have traditionally been described as conservative with a preference for choosing prominent artists. Early HMC portraits were often larger than life and depicted office-holders in solemn poses, dressed in formal attire, emerging from sombre surrounds. Such artists include William McInnes, John Longstaff and George Lambert, who dominated the Archibald Prize from 1921 to 1931.

Over time, HMC artists have introduced a more personal dimension to the portraits, through the sitter’s pose, choice of background, and inclusion of objects with significant personal associations. Bryan Westwood was one of the first HMC artists to do so in his 1973 portrait of President of the Senate, Sir Magnus Cormack.40 The portrait of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam by Clifton Pugh, one of the HMC’s most conspicuous, also reflects the changing ways that parliamentarians wish to be remembered. The portrait won the 1972 Archibald Prize, the same year that Whitlam became Prime Minister. Whitlam liked the portrait so much that, as Chair of the Committee, he called an informal meeting which later that day announced its intention to purchase Pugh’s artwork for the HMC.41 The Prime Minister telegrammed Pugh directly, noting that ‘my place in the history of art and yours in the history of politics are now secure’.42

Portrait of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam by Clifton Pugh for the Historic Memorials Collection. 
Clifton Ernest Pugh (1924-1990), Edward Gough Whitlam, 1972, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection.

Vibrant colours, smiling sitters in relaxed poses, and even outdoor settings have been featured in recent portraits. For example, in 2014 prominent artist Ralph Heimans chose to depict Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce in suffragette purple actively stepping out onto the balcony from her office, with the window reflecting the gardens of Government House, Canberra. More recently, artist Paul Newton depicted Stephen Parry, the President of the Senate, in the forecourt of Parliament House.

Public display
Since the establishment of the HMC, its artworks have been primarily hung in Parliament House, initially in Melbourne’s Queen’s Hall. After Parliament moved to Canberra in 1927, works were moved to King’s Hall but this soon became overcrowded.

In 1978, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser unveiled plans to build a new Parliament House, and an international competition was held to find a suitable design for the building. In 1980, New York-based Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects won the competition, and work began. Committees and advisory groups were set up to work with the architects on all aspects of the building, including the display of art and the HMC. After a review, the majority of the HMC portraits were deemed to be needed for the new building. From the outset, the placement of portraits around the Members’ Hall was discussed and agreed.43 

At present, the most recent portraits of Prime Ministers, Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives are displayed in the Members’ Hall. Parliamentary ‘firsts’ and commemorative paintings are hung in the foyer of the main Committee Room. HMC works are also placed in other parts of the building, including near the chambers and in some parliamentarians’ suites. Additionally, all subjects of official portraits are given the opportunity to borrow the initial sketch for personal display during their lifetime.

 L21151

King’s Hall, Parliament House (now Old Parliament House), Canberra, Australian News and Information Bureau, 1956. Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia. NAA: A1200 L21151.

 
Although the majority of the HMC is in Parliament House, other works are on public display at the Museum of Australian Democracy, the official residences of the Governor-General, and the High Court of Australia. In 1980, the collection of Chief Justices was loaned for display in the newly built High Court of Australia. In 2013, responsibility for the commissioning process and the formal ownership of the official portraits of Chief Justices was passed to the High Court.
 
After 110 years, it is clear that the HMC has achieved its mandate of documenting the history of Australia’s public life and preserving the legacy of its national office-holders. As an art program it has provided great support to the arts and Australian artists, and continues to offer a unique perspective on art and politics. Accordingly, the HMC’s ongoing value and relevance is assured, in documenting the Australian Parliament’s next century.

References
1. ‘New Year’s Day, 1901’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January 1901, p. 14, accessed 21 October 2021.
2. J Hirst, ‘Federation’, 2001, in The Oxford Companion to Australian History, Oxford University Press.
3. J Fitzgerald, On message: political communications of Australian Prime Ministers 19012014, Clareville Press, Mawson, 2014, p. 21.
4. A Deakin, The federal story: the inner history of the federal cause 1880–1900, JA La Nauze, ed., University of Sydney Library: Australian Etexts, Melbourne University Press, 1963, pp. 166–67, accessed 21 October 2021.
5. ‘The Federation of Australia’, Parliamentary Education Office, accessed 19 October 2021.
6. J Playford, ‘Kingston, Charles Cameron (1850–1908)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed 20 October 2021.
7. A Fisher, ‘Death of the Right Honorable C.C. Kingston’, House of Representatives, Debates, 12 May 1908, p. 11048.
8. A Fisher, ‘The late Right Honorable C.C. Kingston’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 September 1908, p. 263.
9. A Deakin, ‘The late Right Honorable C.C. Kingston’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 September 1908, p. 264.
10. T Roberts, Letter to Alfred Deakin, 10 March 1910, National Library of Australia, NAA A2, 1912/2035, p. 205–6.
11. A Fisher, ‘Lord Northcote: Distinguished Australian’, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 October 1911, p. 1130.
12. A Fisher, ‘Estimates’, House of Representatives, 18 December 1911, p. 4603.
13. Federal Executive Council minute paper, NAA: A1573, 1911/1, Attorney-General’s Department vol 1 (PT).
14. Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Answers to Question on Notice, Supplementary Budget Estimates 2005–06, ‘Question P9, Historic Memorials Committee’s last meeting’, p. 4, accessed 21 October 2021.
15. ‘HMC meeting’, 13 Feb 1912, NAA A457 B508/7, accessed 27 October 2021.
16. ‘Sir Henry Parkes at Tenterfield’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 October 1889, p. 8; AW Martin, ‘Parkes, Sir Henry (1815–1896)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1974. Websites accessed 20 October 2021.
17. ‘Commonwealth of Australia: Historic Memorials’, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 14 September 1912, p. 1580, accessed 22 October 2021.
18. ‘Portrait Gallery’, The Brisbane Courier, 20 August 1912, p. 4, accessed 21 October 2021; A Fisher, ‘Historic Memorials Committee’, House of Representatives, Debates, 2 December 1914, p. 1245.
19. ‘The Whispering Gallery’, Punch (Melbourne), 2 January 1913, p. 6, accessed 21 October 2021.
20. KR Robertson, Identity, Community and Australian Artists 1890–1914, Bloomsbury Visual Arts, New York, London, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney, 2020, p. 104.
21. ‘Portrait Gallery: Federal Statesmen’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January 1914, p. 7, accessed 26 October 2021.
22. NS Hutchison, ‘Mackennal, Sir Edgar Bertram (1863–1931)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed 26 October 2021.
23. ‘Unsatisfactory portraits’, The Brisbane Courier, 20 November 1914, p. 4, accessed 21 October 2021.
24. ‘Painting Australian celebrities’, The Express and Telegraph, 20 November 1914, p. 3, accessed 26 October 2021.25. Robertson, op. cit., p. 107.
25. Ibid.
26. National Museum of Australia, ‘Queen Elizabeth II wattle painting’, National Museum of Australia, accessed 20 September 2021.
27. ‘Portraits of Parliamentary figures ordered’, The Canberra Times, 18 February 1944, p. 2, ‘New portraits for Canberra’, The Courier-Mail, 12 April 1944, p. 5. Websites accessed 21 October 2021.
28. ‘Portraits of first women in Parliament’, The Canberra Times, 8 October 1945, p. 2; ‘Artist will try again’, The Daily Telegraph, 8 October 1945, p. 11. Websites accessed 21 October 2021.
29. Art Gallery of New South Wales, ‘Archibald Prize finalists 1945’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, ‘Archibald Prize finalists 1944’. Websites accessed 5 October 2021.
30. Although David Kennedy was the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to Parliament as the ALP Member for Bendigo (1969–72), Neville Bonner is recorded as the first Indigenous federal parliamentarian because Kennedy did not self-identify as Indigenous and his Indigenous heritage was not known at that time. See H Gobbett, ‘Indigenous parliamentarians, federal and state: a quick guide’, Parliamentary Library, July 2017, p. 2.
31. J Ireland, ‘Linda Burney portrait unveiled: not just another painting of a suit’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 February 2019.
32. A Fisher, ‘Notice of landscape artists’, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 80, 21 December 1912, p. 2639, accessed 21 October 2021.
33. P Haynes, The site for the Federal Capital: two landscapes from the historic memorials collection, Canberra, Joint House Department, Parliament House, 1993, p. 3.
34. ‘Rejected portrait of Mr. Hughes finally accepted’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 September 1947, p. 7.
35. ‘Portrait of Sir Arthur Fadden by WA Dargie’, National Archives of Australia, NAA A463 1965/2002, pp. 2–3, accessed 21 October 2021.
36. Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, op. cit., p. 14.
37. Ibid.
38. Minutes of meeting of Historic Memorials Committee, 17 February 1944, item 1, p. 1, Joint House Department File 94/958.
39. K Scroope, ‘“Faithful Representations”: 100 Years of the Historic Memorials Collection’, Papers on Parliament No. 57, February 2012, accessed 21 October 2021.
40. G Whitlam, ‘Portrait of Prime Minister’, Press statement No. 71, 5 April 1973, accessed 21 October 2021.
41. Art Gallery of New South Wales, ‘Clifton Pugh: The Hon EG Whitlam’, accessed 5 October 2021.
42. Scroope, op. cit.

Written by Apolline Kohen, Director of the Parliament House Art Collection and Dr. Dianne Heriot, Parliamentary Librarian.

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