I am saddened to hear of the death of Andrew Sayers AM, inaugural Director of the National Portrait Gallery and former Director of the National Museum of Australia. I send my sincere condolences to his family.
Mr Sayers moved to Canberra in 1985 to work as a curator, and then Assistant Director of the National Gallery of Australia. He served as the inaugural Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1998 to 2010 and was the Director of the National Museum of Australia from 2010 to 2013.
In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for his service to Australian society and the arts and in 2010 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to arts administration, particularly as the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, and to the promotion of Australian portraiture.
Mr Sayers was also a talented and recognised visual artist, and in recent years had dedicated his time to pursuing his love of painting. His self-portrait featured in the 2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and his depiction of art historian Tim Bonyhady was an Archibald Prize finalist for 2015.
Mr Sayers made a remarkable contribution through his leadership of a number of iconic national cultural institutions, and to Australia's contemporary visual arts landscape.
His legacy will not be soon forgotten.