Tom Gleghorn

Tom Gleghorn Australian Artist Portrait

Tom Gleghorn was born on the 2nd June 1925 in Thornley, England, and at the age of three relocated with his family and settled in Warners Bay on the picturesque shores of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.

It was during Tom’s early years in school when he formed an unlikely friendship with Joe Westcott, a rough and hard-drinking boy.

Westcott introduced Gleghorn to the captivating world of Aesop’s Fables, igniting a deep thirst for education and knowledge within him. Interestingly, Westcott went on to be immortalised in a painting titled The Billy Boy by the renowned artist William Dobell.

Tom Gleghorn has since become a renowned and highly regarded artist from South Australia.

A Brief History of Tom Gleghorn

Despite completing an engineering apprenticeship, Tom found himself drawn to a different path in life. He found himself immersed in the works of philosophers, particularly Santayana.

In 1949, during a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW with his wife, Gleghorn’s imagination was captivated by two paintings by Dobell, marking another transformative moment which set him on the trajectory of becoming an artist.

A year later, Gleghorn left his engineering job at the Broken Hill Company, an Iron & Steelworks in Port Warratah, Newcastle, and delved into the realm of display design in Newcastle.

Although Tom lacked formal training in art, he found encouragement and guidance from Dobell himself.

At the age of 30, now a father of two, he relocated to Sydney where he pursued a career as an artist and designer for retail establishments. This eventually led him to assume the role of director at the esteemed Blaxland Gallery in 1958.

Tom Gleghorn Fragment of the Crucifixion 1958
Tom Gleghorn – Fragment of the Crucifixion (1958)

In that same year, Tom’s remarkable talent was acknowledged when he claimed the watercolour section of the Mosman Art Prize with his painting Fragment of the Crucifixion and won the Blake Christus Prize with his piece titled Head of Christ.

In a 1959 article, Robert Hughes noted how opinions on Gleghorn were sharply divided. While some dismissed him as a mere commercial artist or fraud, others, like Hal Missingham, hailed him as the greatest painter in Australia.

Gleghorn emerged as an artist during a period when abstraction dominated the Australian art scene, yet his enduring talent and remarkable career defy these categorizations.

Tom Gleghorn – Landscape & Coast


  • Appointed Director, Blaxland Art Gallery, SYDNEY, N.S.W. 1958.
  • Appointed Teacher of Art and Design. National Art School 1960.
  • Awarded Helena Rubenstein Travelling Scholarship, 1961.
  • Travelled and studied in Europe, 1962- 1963.
  • Awarded British Council Grant, 1962.
  • Appointed Head of Canberra Art School in 1968.
  • Appointed Lecturer of Art, Bedford Park Teachers College, ADELAIDE 1969.
  • Chairman of Art Department, Bedford Park Teachers College, 1971-1972.
  • Churchill Fellowship in Education for 1973.
  • Senior Lecturer of Art, Sturt College of Advanced Education, ADELAIDE, 1973-1982.
  • Painting full time 1983 onwards.
  • Awarded 30 Art awards throughout Australia.
  • Honorary Research Fellow. Life Member of CRN.L.E.* Flinders University Centre for Research in the New Literature in English.
  • Awarded Order of Australia O.A.M, Australia Day 2006

Overseas Exhibitions

  • Francis Kyle Gallery, Maddock Street, London. Wl UK.
  • Galeria Samagra, 55 Rue Jacob, Paris, France.
  • Martin Tinney Gallery, 6 Windsor Place, Cardiff, Wales. UK.
  • Galerie La Tour des Cardinaux, 4 Rue des Rollin.
  • L’isle-sur-Sorgue, Provence, France

Individual Exhibitions

1959 Macquarie Galleries, Sydney. Drawings.
· Newcastle Art Gallery. Paintings.
· Gallery 43, Melbourne. Drawings.
1960 Macquarie Galleries, Perth. Drawings.
· Skinner Galleries, Perth. Drawings.
1961 Bonython Galleries, Adelaide. Paintings.
· Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane. Paintings.
1963 Stone Gallery, England. Paintings.
· Skinner Galleries, Perth. Drawings.
1964 Van Bertouch Galleries. Newcastle. Drawings.
· Bonython Galleries. Adelaide. Paintings.
– Bonython Gallery, Sydney. Paintings “Hungry Horse” Gallery.
1966 Macquarie Galleries, Canberra. Paintings.
· Australian Galleries, Melbourne. Paintings.
– Van Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle, Paintings.
1968 Macquarie Galleries, Canberra. Paintings. I
· Van Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle. Paintings.
1969 Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney. Drawings.
1970 Reid Gallery, Brisbane. Paintings.
1971 Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne. Paintings.
· Macquarie Galleries, Canberra. Paintings.
· Lidums Art Gallery, Adelaide. Paintings.
– Van Bertouch Gallery, Newcastle. Paintings.
1972 Die Gallery, Tanunda,   Paintings.
· Macquarie Galleries, Canberra. Sketchbook Studies.
1973 Macquarie Galleries, Canberra. Poem Paintings.
1974 Macquarie Galleries, Canberra. Souvenirs.
– Desborough Gallery, Perth. Maslins Beach – Paintings.
· The Barn, Adelaide. Maslins Beach – Studies far Paintings.
1975 David Sumner Gallery, Adelaide. Paintings.
– Collectors Gallery, Perth. Paintings.
1976 Town Gallery, Brisbane. Paintings.
· Van Bertouch Gallery, Newcastle. Paintings.
1981 Van Bertouch Gallery, Newcastle. Paintings.
1982 Tawn Gallery, Brisbane. Paintings.
1983 Galden Age Gallery, Ballarat. Paintings. .
1984 Gallery at Man, Kalamunda, Perth. (Festival at Art) Paintings.
· Banythan Meadmare Gallery, Adelaide. Paintings.
1986 Greenhill Gallery, Perth. (Festival at Art) paintings.
· Tynte Gallery, Adelaide. Paintings.
· Greytharn Gallery, Victoria. Paintings.
1987 Adrian Slinger Gallery, Brisbane. Studies and Drawings.
1988 Freeman Gallery, Hobart. Paintings.
· Tynte Gallery, Adelaide (Festival at Arts) Paintings.
1990 Adrian Slinger Gallery, Brisbane.
1991 Van Bertouch Art Gallery, Newcastle.
1992 Greenhill Galleries Adelaide (Adelaide Festival at Arts).
1993 Galerie la Tour des Cardinaux,
· L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Provence, France.
1995 70th Birthday Exhibition – Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide.
1996 Holdsworth Gallery, Woollahra, Sydney.
1998 B.M.G. Gallery – Adelaide.
2001 B.M.G Gallery – Adelaide.
2005 80th (Birthday Exhibition – B.M.G. Adelaide.
2005 Stafford Studios – Perth.

Group Exhibitions

1957 Dickerson, Gleghorn, Coburn. David Jones Gallery, Sydney.
1958 Matson Lines Travelling exhibition.
1959 Australian Paintings. San Francisco. U.S.A.
1960 2nd International Biennale. Tokyo. Japan.
– C.A.S Group Vision Gallery. London. England.
– South Pacific Young Painters. Tokyo. Japan.
– Contemporary Australian Art. Auckland. New Zealand.
1961 Sao Paulo Biennale. Brazil.
– Recent Australian Paintings. Whitechapel Gallery. London.
– Burr – Swartz Australian Collection. Los Angeles. U.S.A.
1962 Collectors Choice. Stone Gallery. England.
– Australian Art Today – Touring Europe & North America.
– Gleghorn Juniper. Skinner Galleries. Perth.
– Petits Format Exhibition. Gallery du Fleuve. Paris. France.
1963 Australian Painting. Tate Gallery. London. England.
– La Grand Toile, Gallery du Fleuve. Paris. France.
1964 Tendencies. Gallery de Fleuve. Ports. France.
– Australian Pointing Travelling Exhibition. Europe.
1965 Young Australian pointers. Tokyo – Kyoto. Japan.
1966 Australian Painting. Auckland. New Zealand.
– Contemporary Australian drawing. Newcastle Gallery. N.S.W.
1967 Young Australian pointers Exhibition.
1970 International graphics. Rijecka. Yugoslavia.
1973 New South Wales House. The Strand. London. England.
1985 Dickerson, Coburn, Gleghorn. Adelaide Festival of Arts. Avenel Bee Gallery.
2001 Post Card Exhibition. Leading Australian Artists. Adelaide. S.A.
– Abstract impressionism. Sydney 1956 – 64 (Alexander Mackie College)
1983 The Moderns. Lorraine Diggins. Melbourne.
1985 Australian Contemporary Paintings and Graphics in Focus. Hong Kong.
1986 Donald Friend. Arch Cuthbertson, Tom Gleghorn. Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide.
1987 Makin and Gleghorn. Work on Roper. Greenhill Gallery. Perth.
1988 John Borrack, Rex Backus-Smith, Tom Gleghorn. Slinger Gallery. Queensland.
– Drawings in Australia. From 1970 to 1980’s Australian National Gallery.
– Artists Camp Exhibition N° VII. Darwin Art Gallery. N.T.
– Images of Religion in Australian Art. National Gallery. Australia.
1989 Prints and Australia: Pre settlement to Present. Australian National Gallery.
– Coburn, Dickerson, Gleghorn. Perth Gallery. W.A.
1990 Gleghorn. Hadley – Freeman Gallery. Hobart. Tasmania.
– Gallerie Samagra. 55 Rue Jacob. Paris. France.
1991 John Bellamy, Tom Gleghorn. Perth Festival of Art. Greenhill Gallery.
1993 Daws, Tucker, Gleghorn, Pugh, Hodgkinson. Queensland House. London. U.K.
2001 Metro 5. Melbourne. Victoria.
– Solander Gallery. Canberra, ACT.
2001 Metro 5. Melbourne. Victoria.
2002 Metro 5. Melbourne. Victoria.
2008   The Crime, Murder and Misdemeanor in Australian Art. Geelong Art Gallery.


  • Australian National Gallery.
  • All Australian State Galleries.
  • Newcastle Art Gallery. N.S.W.
  • Brisbane University. Queensland.
  • New England University. N.S.W.
  • Reserve Bank of Australia. N.S.W.
  • I.C.I. Collection. Melbourne.
  • Laing Art Gallery U.K.
  • Manchester City Art Gallery. U.K.
  • Middlesborough Art Gallery. U.K.
  • Newcastle Art Gallery. U.K.
  • Geelong Art Gallery. Victoria.
  • B.H.P. Collection. N.S.W.
  • West Australian institute of Technology.
  • Armidale City Gallery.
  • University of Adelaide.
  • Newcastle University.
  • Murdoch University. Perth.
  • Bendigo Gallery. Victoria.
  • Artbank Collection
  • H.R. Duke of Edinburgh Collection (Portrait of David Campbell)
  • Alexander Mackie C.A.E. Sydney.
  • Macquarie University.
  • Freemantle Art Centre. W.A.
  • Kelvin Grove C.A.E. Queensland.
  • Mertz Collection. U.S.A.
  • Woolongong City Collection. N.S.W.
  • Bathurst Art Collection. N.S.W.
  • Mosman Art Collection. N.S.W.
  • James Cook University. Queensland.
  • Commonwealth Banking Corporation. Adelaide.
  • Australian National University. Canberra.
  • Muswellbrook City Collection.
  • University of Western Australia. Perth.
  • Churchill Fellowship in Education for l973.
  • Passenger Terminal. Outer Harbour S.A.
  • “Landscape Harbour l973”. 52′ x8′ mural.
  • State Bank. Adelaide.
  • Beneficial Finance.
  • Sir Anthony and Lady Chryss O’Reilly. Dublin Ireland.
  • New Parliament House. Canberra.
  • Sturt Campus, South Australia. C.A.E.
  • The Flinders University at S.A.
  • Grovenor Hotel. Adelaide.
  • Caon Tucker. Perth.
  • Ayres Finnis. Adelaide.
  • Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery. Launceston. Tasmania.
  • Museum & Art Gallery at the Northern Territory.
  • Queensland University at Technology. Art Museum.
  • Adelaide Bank.
  • State Bank. London.
  • State Bank. Hang Kong.
  • State Bank. Perth.
  • State Bank. Sydney.
  • S.G.l.C. Adelaide.
  • I.E.I.
  • Oceanfast. Freemantle.
  • National Mutual. Hong Kong.
  • Sir Rabin and Lady Phillipson Collection. Edinburgh. Scotland.
  • Edith Cowan University. Perth. W.A.
  • Adelaide Bank.
  • Neil Diamond U.S.A


  • Australian Painting – 1961 – Griffin Press.
  • Present Day Art in Australia – Ure Smith
  • Masterpieces of Australia Painting – Australian Art Library – Gleeson
  • Encyclopedia of Australian Art – McCulloch
  • Australian Art – Renniks
  • History of Australian Art – Professor Bernard Smith
  • Modern Australian Painting – Donald J. Finley
  • Australian Landscape Painting – John Reed
  • Australian Drawings – Elwyn Lynn
  • Who’s Who in Australia
  • Art of Australia – 1966 – Robert Hughes
  • Australian Painting – John Reed
  • Profiles of Australian Painters — John Heatherington
  • Larousse Encyclopedia of Modern Art
  • Visual Arts – Jacaranda Press.
  • South Australian Painters – Nancy Benko.
  • History of Australian Painting (revised ed. Bernard Smith)
  • Modern Art in Australia – James Gleeson
  • Australian Painting and Sculpture – Kym Bonython
  • Modern Australian Painting – Kym Bonython
  • Art Folio N°1 – Paul Milton
  • Guide to Modern Australian Painting – R.K.Luck.
  • Foundation in Art – Hopwood
  • Christian Art in Asia – Masso Tanaka, Dashisha University, Kyoto.
  • Notable Australians Hamlyn Pty Ltd. Paul.
  • Australian Water Colour Painters – 1970-1980 – Jean Young (Rigby)
  • Art and Artists of Australia – Alison Small, McMillan
  • Artists & Galleries of Australia & New Zealand. Max Germaine
  • Australian Sculptors – Ken Scarlett. Nelson
  • The Years of Hope – G Catalano. O.U.P
  • Heritage of Australian Art – William Kelly – McMillan
  • Directory of Australian Printmakers – 1988
  • Images of Religion in Australian Art. 1940-1988. Bay Books – Sydney
  • Australian Impressionists and Realist Painters – 1990 – Tom Roberts
  • The Flinders Jubilee Anthology – Flinders University. Adelaide 1991.
  • A Secret Quest – The O’Reilly Collection. Ireland
  • S.A. Life. July 2005
  • ‘Allgemeines Kunsterlexikon’ = ‘Universal Artists Dictionary’, published in Leipzig.

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