Mosman Historical Society talk: Paul Brunton, 'The Portraits of James Cook'

Portrait of Cook by William Hodges (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich).

Paul Brunton discusses the stories behind the six authentic extant portraits of Captain James Cook.

There are only six authentic extant portraits of Captain James Cook (1728-1779) in the world. Three of these six portraits were unknown until after 1960 including both the portraits held in Australia, which are the first and last portraits of Cook to be painted. The stories of these contemporary portraits and the images of the great explorer made after his death give an insight into the man and the making of his legend. They helped create the image of a man who selflessly died so that others might live, a great British hero but one of science not war.

Paul Brunton OAM, FAHA is Emeritus Curator at the State Library of New South Wales. He was Senior Curator, Mitchell Library, from 2002 until 2012 and Curator of Manuscriots from 1986 to 2000.

Have you considered catching the Mosman Rider to this event? Click here to find out more about the Rider.



  • Wednesday 10 May 2017
  • 7.00pm – 8.00pm


  • Barry O’Keefe Library (Mosman Library Service)
  • Library Walk, 605 Military Road, Mosman


  • Free for members. Visitors $5 each.

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