Kate Hattam arrived in Melbourne in 1949 and commenced work in marketing at Georges, the city’s most fashionable department store. London-born, she rose to the position of advertising manager and in this role was reputed to be the highest-paid woman in Australia in the 1950s. The style-setting executive was also an influential arts patron, and with her husband, Hal Hattam, helped cultivate the careers of John Brack, Fred Williams, Clifton Pugh and others. Pugh’s 1956 portrait of Hattam captures the emergence of the artist’s distinct, expressive style – and the equally-unique style and spirit of his subject. See this work, and the rest of the national collection, in Canberra.
For more information on this work visit: portrait.gov.au/portraits/2006.56/kate-hattam