Attributed Robert Hawker Dowling (1827 – 1886)
Portrait of Olof Hilmer Hedberg (1817 – 1884) c. 1850s
Oil on canvas
104 x 78.5 cm

Olof Hilmer Hedberg (1817 – 1884) arrived in Hobart in 1844, establishing himself as a whaling identity during the peak of the industry and founding a dynasty that remains to this day. Generations of Hedbergs have left their mark on the state of Tasmania in fields as broad as brewing, fisheries and spatial science. The family legacy in now being honoured with the naming of the performing arts centre ‘The Hedberg’, currently being built on the site of Hedberg Bros. Garage, Collins Street, Hobart.

This large portrait was sourced from the collection of a descendant of colonial frame maker and fine art dealer Robin Vaughan Hood (1802 – 1888), who was a known associate of the Hedberg family. It is believed that the painting was painted by colonial portraitist Robert Hawker Dowling (1827 – 1886), who opened his Hobart studios in 1852, where he worked until his departure for England in 1857.

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