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Western art

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Portrait of the Rt. Hon. William Morris Hughes



Augustus John OM


04 Jan 1878 - 31 Oct 1961


William Hughes 1864-1952, Prime Minister of Australia 1915-1923.

Painted in Paris while attending the 1919 Peace Conference. John painted portraits of all the chief delegates.


Other Title

W.M. Hughes



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


80.0 x 59.8 cm stretcher; 100.5 x 80.0 x 9.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed u.r., brown paint "John". Not dated.


Gift of the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank 1946


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Augustus John OM

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, London/England

Bank of England, pre 1946, London/England, H.T. Armitage (Governor of the Commonwealth Bank, Sydney 1941-48) discovered in 1945? that the portrait was in the possession of the Bank of England. Through the Commonwealth Bank's London Manager, it was suggested to the Bank of England that the portrait would find a far more appropriate home in Australia. Presented by Lord Catto, Govenor of the Bank of England to H.T. Armitage in 1946 with instructions that the painting be given to the Commonwealth Bank or a National Institution. The portrait hung in the Commonwealth Bank, Sydney for 2 or 3 months and was then presented to AGNSW.

Hugh Traill Armitage, pre 24 May 1946, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of H.T. Armitage, Governor of the Commonwealth Bank 1946

Referenced in 5 publications


Alpine Club Gallery, Catalogue of war, peace conferencce and other portraits by Augustus E. John, London, 1920. 10 or 19

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 97 (illus.).

Donald Horne, In Search of Billy Hughes, Melbourne, 1979, Book jacket (illus.).

Anne Kirker and Peter Tomory, British painting 1800–1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 112. 1137

Charles Marriott, The Studio, 'Mr Augustus John as Portrait Painter', pg. 43-50, London, Apr 1920, 48 (illus.).