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Australia's First Prime Ministers

Alison Alder's onetosixteen prints of Australia's first Prime Ministers

About the exhibition

In 2016, the Parliamentary Library acquired a set of prints from the series onetoeight: Australia’s First Prime Ministers by Canberra artist Alison Alder.

The prints were produced during her fellowship with the then Australian Prime Ministers Centre at the Museum of Australian Democracy. In 2020 Alder was appointed as a Parliamentary Library Associate and created a second print series, covering Prime Ministers nine to sixteen. This project was completed in 2022 and the Parliamentary Library acquired a full set of prints.

Alison Alder’s print series Australian Prime Ministers 1–16 aims to reignite interest in the achievements and character of the first sixteen Australian Prime Ministers — the leaders who served the nation in the first half of the twentieth century. By presenting historical images in the form of a modern-day political poster, Alder’s prints offer a creative take on Australia’s early political history.

Alison Alder, No.1 Barton.
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original image: Old Parliament House Ephemera Box. OPH 10449.

Alison Alder, No.2 Deakin
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original Image: Gabay, Al. The Mystic Life of Alfred Deakin. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1992

Alison Alder, No.3 Watson
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original image: T. Humphrey & Co., Portrait of J.C. Watson, [190-?] National Library of Australia, nla.gov.au/nla.obj-136654265.

Alison Alder, No.4 Reid
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original image: Sir Geo. Reid and Mrs Oliver T. Johnston, ca1910-1915, Bains News Service, Library of Congress LC-DIG-ggbain-10742.

Alison Alder, No.5 Fisher
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original image: Vandyke Pty Ltd, Portrait of the Right Honourable Andrew Fisher. National Library of Australia, PIC/6607.

Alison Alder, No.6 Cook
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original image: Brookes family, Joseph Cook and Alfred Deakin at Point Lonsdale, 1909. Alfred Deakin photographic collection, Deakin University Library, http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006320.

Alison Alder, No. 7 Hughes
Screen print on paper, 2016.Original image: Portrait of Billy Hughes walking along a footpath. National Library of Australia, nla.gov.au/nla.obj-229722707.

Alison Alder, No. 8 Bruce
Screen print on paper, 2016. Original image: T. Humphrey and Co., New Bruce-Page Ministry at its swearing in for ceremony, 1923. National Library of Australia, PIC Box PIC/6617 #PIC/6617.

Alison Alder, No.9 Scullin
Screen print on paper, 2021. Original image: JH Scullin campaigning at Long Gully, Victoria. Robertson, John. JH Scullin: A Political Biography. University of Western Australia, Perth, 1975. Source of original photograph unknown.

Alison Alder, No.10 Lyons
Screen print on paper, 2021. Original images: JA Lyons, pictured at the opening of the 16th Parliament, 1929. National Archives of Australia, NAA: A3560, 4995. Portrait of Joseph A. Lyons with Dame Enid and family at the Lodge, Canberra. PIC/9221 National Library of Australia, Nla.gov.au/nla.obj-137038919.

Alison Alder, No.11 Page
Screen print on paper, 2022. Original image: Hon. Dr Earle Page in front of Parliament House. National Archives of Australia, Series No: A3560: Mildenhall collection of glass negatives.

Alison Alder, No.12 Menzies
Screen print on paper, 2022. Original image: Menzies on the hustings, 1949. Trengrove, Alan. Menzies: A Pictorial Biography. Thomas Nelson Australia Pty Ltd, West Melbourne. 1978. p. 35.

Alison Alder, No.13 Fadden

Screen print on paper, 2022. Original image: Portrait of Arthur William Fadden, Darling Downs, 1940. National Library of Australia obj.136661326 PIB Box PIC/6637 #PIC/6637/1-2.

Alison Alder, No.14 Curtin
Screen print on paper, 2022. Original image: Prime Minister John Curtin, c.1942. John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Records of the Curtin Family. JCPML00376/9.

Alison Alder, No.15 Forde

Screen print on paper, 2022. Original image: Portrait of Frank Forde. Dwyer, L.J., 1892-1962 National Library of Australia. PIC Box PIC/6634 #PIC/6634/1-2 194-.

Alison Alder, No.16 Chifley
Screen print on paper, 2022. Original images: End of the main assembly line in Plant 1, General Motors-Holden's at Fishermen's Bend, Melbourne, Victoria. National Library of Australia. PIC Drawer A143 #PIC/8797- Nla.obj-143402220. Portrait of Prime Minister Ben Chifley, 18 May 1948. National Library of Australia, William Henry Bale, 1890-1974, album of photographs,
NLA PIC P1474/19 LOC ALBUM 897.

All images are courtesy of the Parliamentary Library, Department of Parliamentary Services.
The development of these artworks was supported by an Australian Prime Ministers Centre Fellowship, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra 2015–2016 and an Australian Parliamentary Library Associateship, Australian Parliament House, 2021–2022.

Dates: 2 December 2022 - July 2023

Cost: Free

Venue: Public Exhibition Area

Parking: Free for 1 hour, then parking rates apply
 

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