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Person number: 182
Surname: Missingham
Given name(s): Hal
Alternative name:
Birth date: 01 Jan 1906
Death date: 07 Apr 1994
Prenomial honorifics:
Postnomial honorifics:

Offices held: Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 3/09/1945 - 3/09/1971
Minister in NSW Government: No

Biographical note: Hal Missingham was born in Claremont, Western Australia on 8 December 1906. He completed his schooling at Perth Boys High in 1922 after which he became an apprentice to J Gibney & Son, Process Engravers. From 1922 to 1926 he also studied drawing at Perth Technical College. (1) In 1926 Missingham sailed for England, and in the same year enrolled in the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. (2) In 1928 Missingham planned to return to Perth via Canada. However en route to Australia he was employed as a teacher and freelance artist in Canada. (3) He returned to England that same year. From 1928 until 1940, when he returned to Australia, Missingham held various positions in the arts field, while at the same time exhibiting and selling his art work. He also continued to enrol in various art classes. (4) In 1930 he married Ester Long. (5) In 1933 he began teaching at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. (6) That same year he began his lifelong interest in photography. (7) In 1939 he resigned from the Central School (8), and in 1940 Missingham and his wife returned to Australia. Although initially arriving in Perth, Missingham moved to Sydney in December 1940. (9) During his first five years in Sydney he did a wide range of freelance artist work and continued to exhibit his art and photographic work.

Missingham was appointed Director of the New South Wales Art Gallery on 3 September 1945 and held the position until he resigned on 3 September 1971. (10) His directorship of the Art Gallery is best characterised by his ‘enlightened policies of Australian Art collecting’. (11) His long career as Director was ‘climaxed by his supervision of the new building extensions to the New South Wales Art Gallery’. (12) During his career Missingham made contributions to journals and books, and was a member of many Boards and Committees including being a member of the Advisory Panel for the design of the first Australian decimal currency. (13)

Missingham received an Order of Australia in 1978. (14) He died in Western Australia on 7 April 1994.

1. NRS287; Personal papers of Hal Missingham, 1952-1977 [8/1954].
2. ibid.
3. www.holmesacourtgallery.com.au (accessed 1 September 2005).
4. NRS287, loc. cit.
5. ibid.
6. ibid.
7. www.holmesacourtgallery.com.au (accessed 1 September 2005).
8. NRS287, loc. cit.
9. ibid.
10. ibid.
11. www.holmesacourtgallery.com.au (accessed 1 September 2005).
12. ibid.
13. NRS287, loc. cit.
14. Who’s Who in Australia 1999, XXVII Edition.


Ministries containing this person:

Portfolios this person held as minister:

Functions exercised by this person:
5 Recreation and Culture  03 Sep 1945 ~ 03 Sep 1971 

Agencies related to this person:
106 National Art Gallery (1876-1958) / Art Gallery of New South Wales (1958- )  03 Sep 1945 ~ 03 Sep 1971 

Record series created by this person:
287 Personal papers of Hal Missingham  01 Jan 1952 ~ 31 Dec 1977 

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