An image of Sir Henry Parkes

Phil May

(England, Australia 27 Apr 1864 – 05 Aug 1903)

Sir Henry Parkes

Not on display
Further information

One of the best remembered of Australia's early politicians, Sir Henry Parkes (1815-96) was premier of New South Wales for the first of five occasions in 1872. He supported the causes of liberalism and anti-transportation, was party to ensuring free, secular and compulsory education in New South Wales and is known as the 'Father of Federation' for the key role he played in the Federation conventions of the early 1890s. He was not admired by everyone however – 'The bulletin' on 2 May 1896 described him as having '... the art of seeming great, yet no one could really remember, even at the zenith of his career, that he ever did anything in particular to deserve his reputation.'

excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005

pencil, watercolour, black and white gouache, gum on grey-green paper
23.0 x 17.7 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r., pencil "PHIL MAY". Not dated.
Signed u.r., pencil ".../ .../ Phil May".

Purchased 1919
Accession number