Donor focus: Patrick Corrigan AM
Patrick Corrigan AM (b. 1932), businessman and philanthropist, has enabled the acquisition of 130 artworks for the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection. Born to British parents in China, Corrigan’s interest in collecting started as a child, and when his family left to seek refuge in Australia in 1941, a collection of toy soldiers was among the possessions he took with him. In 1967, he established his own freight company, and through the firm’s role in freighting books became interested in book collecting. He subsequently developed a significant library relating to Australian art and artists, along with a large collection of bookplates, and during the same period also built an important collection of Australian art. Later, he established the Pat Corrigan Artists’ Grant Scheme, which provided funds to more than 1000 emerging artists between 1990 and 2004. He has since donated much of his collection to public institutions including the Queensland Art Gallery, the State Library of Queensland, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A jazz enthusiast, among the first works he helped the National Portrait Gallery acquire were paintings of musicians James Morrison and Don Burrows. Equally passionate about photography, he gifted a large group of portraits by photographer Greg Weight in 2004. He has subsequently donated many more works – in various mediums, and by leading Australian artists – and provided funds for portraits such as that of pianist and composer, Paul Grabowsky, commissioned in 2009.
This display profiles a selection of works acquired as a result of Patrick Corrigan’s generous and longstanding support of the National Portrait Gallery, and marks the instigation, in 2014, of the Patrick Corrigan Portrait Commission Series: commenced with a series of portraits of Australian rugby greats.
Collection display galleries
The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia. Visitors to the Gallery can follow the development of portraiture from oil painting to digital media.Entry is free.