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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.

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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.

Henry Bolte

1969
Les Tanner and Gus McLaren (producer)

glazed ceramic (10 cm x 16.5 cm depth 13.5 cm diameter 10.0 cm)

Sir Henry Bolte KCMG (1908-90) was Victorian's longest serving Premier from 1955 until his retirement in 1972. Bolte, who had a reputation for acerbic one-liners, successfully exploited his image as a man of the people. While he was responsible for key social reforms such as increased rights for Aborigines, extension of trading hours for shops and pubs, and the compulsory wearing of seatbelts, Bolte's real passion was for economic progress. He led many delegations overseas to promote Victoria and to seek investment for its development. However he deeply divided the community with his refusal in 1967 to commute the death sentence for Ronald Ryan, who was the last person to be hanged in Australia. Bolte died of lung cancer, smoking to the end and joking that his last smoke would be in the crematorium.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2004
© Estates of Les Tanner and Gus McLaren

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

Les Tanner (age 42 in 1969)

Gus McLaren (age 46 in 1969)

Sir Henry Bolte KCMG (age 61 in 1969)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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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 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