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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.

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.

Study for portrait of Peter Elliott

1964
Jon Molvig

pencil on paper (sheet: 42.8 cm x 34.0 cm)

Peter Elliott AM (1926–2014) was an obstetrician, gynaecologist and gynaecological oncologist as well as a significant art collector and patron. The son of a country doctor, Elliott grew up scrambling around the lush country near Bellingen, NSW; through his grandfather, who had taught Henry Lawson, family friends included artists Norman Lindsay, Elioth Gruner, Arthur Streeton and Lloyd Rees. After witnessing his father delivering the Sara quadruplets in 1950, he was inspired to become a doctor, and in 1958 went with his family to London to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology. He later became head of gynaecological oncology at King George V Hospital in Sydney, and president of both the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Asian and Oceanic Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. For many years, Elliott worked as a volunteer in Asia and Oceania, training local surgeons and often operating in open-air theatres with low light and sterility. In his spare time, he pursued his passion for art collecting, enjoying close relationships with gallery owners and artists including Fred Williams, Bill Robinson, Frank Hodgkinson and Russell Drysdale. He is credited with keeping many emerging artists in business through encouraging his friends to buy their works. Elliott was a significant philanthropist, although his gifts were mostly anonymous. In 2011 the SH Ervin Gallery mounted an exhibition of his collection, Up Close and Personal. Gavin Fry's book The Peter Elliott Collection was published in 2013. The Mossgreen auction of his collection in August–September 2015 was widely reported to have grossed more than seven million dollars.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Richard Elliott
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2016
© Otte Bartzis

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

Jon Molvig (age 41 in 1964)

Peter Elliott AM (age 38 in 1964)

Donated by

Richard Elliott (6 portraits)

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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.

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