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Photograph of Arthur ‘Art’ Calwell Jnr that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0281

Black and white photograph in a gold-painted timber frame. Photograph is of Arthur (Art) Calwell Jnr, Arthur Calwell’s son.

History

This photograph is part of a collection of objects that belonged to Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49) that were donated to the museum by his daughter, Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell.

This photograph is of Calwell’s son, Arthur Andrew (Art), whose death from leukaemia at the age of 11 devastated his father. He mourned his son for the rest of his life, but in the view of his biographer, Colm Kiernan, was spurred to redouble his efforts as an activist by the tragedy. The photograph is by the noted Australian photographer Jack Cato.

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Statement of values

This photograph is significant as part of the Arthur Calwell collection, which is comprised of a selection of objects that belonged to Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49), Arthur Calwell. The collection is significant as a whole because it tells a story about a leading Commonwealth parliamentarian of the middle decades of the twentieth century and includes highly personal material which tells of Calwell’s family life, his life-long involvement in Labor politics, and his personal religious convictions. The Arthur Calwell collection at the museum uniquely links the personal with the political, thus affording an opportunity to conduct research which tells a rounded story of this important parliamentarian.

This photograph is significant as one of four framed items kept by Calwell on his desk for much of his working life as an MP, three of them being family photos. It is also significant as evidence of the impact his son’s death had on his life.

Reference:

Calwell, Arthur, Be just and fear not, Victoria: Hawthorn, 1972.

Kiernan, Colm, Calwell: a personal and political biography, Melbourne: Thomas Nelson, 1978.

  • Photograph of Arthur ‘Art’ Calwell Jnr that belonged to Arthur CalwellPhotograph of Arthur ‘Art’ Calwell Jnr that belonged to Arthur Calwell —

Details

Width 148mm
Height 191mm
Depth 37mm
Medium Photograph; timber; cardboard; glass
Creator’s name Jack Cato
Date created Circa 1948