Skip to main content

To help keep our visitors and staff safe, please book your spot before visiting.

Menu

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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

William McMahon

1973
Victor Greenhalgh

ciment fondue (34.5 cm x 26.0 cm depth 25.5 cm)

Between 1959 and 1974 Victor Greenhalgh made busts of prime ministers Scullin, Forde, Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon and Whitlam for the Avenue of Prime Ministers in Ballarat’s Botanic Gardens. The three works by Greenhalgh in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery are studies for, or casts of, Ballarat’s busts. The bust of McMahon was a gift of Greenhalgh’s son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Wendy, residents of Griffith, ACT.

Sir William McMahon was the 20th prime minister, in office from March 1971 to December 1972. The Liberal-Country coalition held government from 1949 until the end of 1972, when Gough Whitlam won the election for the Labor Party on the premise that ‘It’s time.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Paul and Wendy Greenhalgh 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Estate of Victor Greenhalgh

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Victor Greenhalgh (age 73 in 1973)

Sir William McMahon CH GCMG PC (age 65 in 1973)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Paul Greenhalgh (3 portraits)

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.

Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon)
Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon)
Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon)
Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon)

Desperately seeking Sonia

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Esther Erlich’s portrait of Lady McMahon.

Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke

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.

© 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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency