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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

About Face

Portrait treats and treatises

From punchy short pieces to longer form leanings, it's the place to come for a frequent fix of the world's most accessible art form.

The selfie stick

by Angus Trumble, 24 February 2015

Last week ABC Television came to interview me about selfie sticks. The story was prompted by the announcement that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has lately prohibited the use of these inside their galleries. So far as I am aware we have not yet encountered the phenomenon, but no doubt we will before too long.

Trumble's way

by Angus Trumble, 29 January 2015

At the end of a summer break one is tempted to say that there is nothing much to report. Isn’t one restful holiday very much like another?

Sydney Cove medallion, 1789 by Josiah Wedgwood
Sydney Cove medallion, 1789 by Josiah Wedgwood
Sydney Cove medallion, 1789 by Josiah Wedgwood

The medallion

by Angus Trumble, 1 January 2015

In recent years I have become fascinated by the so-called Sydney Cove Medallion (1789), a work of art that bridges the 10,000-mile gap between the newly established penal settlement at Port Jackson and the beating heart of Enlightenment England.

Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1885–1931)
Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1885–1931)
Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1885–1931)

The Pavlova

by Angus Trumble, 1 December 2014

It is a painful truth, but one which must be faced up to, that the pavlova, that iconic Australian dessert, a staple since the 1930s, was actually invented in New Zealand.

Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam

Prime Ministers

by Angus Trumble, 1 November 2014

On the day before the Hon. E. G. Whitlam, AC, QC, died last month, at the great age of 98, there were seven former prime ministers of Australia still living, plus the incumbent Mr. Abbott – eight in all.

Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill
Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill
Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill

Milestones

by Angus Trumble, 1 October 2014

This month I turn fifty, soI am just now looking rather more closely than usual at Fiona Foley, Steven Heathcote, Brenda Croft, Russell Crowe, Jeff Fenech, Akira Isogawa, Lee Kernaghan, My Le Thi, Shona Wilson and Mark Taylor AO, mindful that they too were 1964 arrivals. 

The great South Sea caterpillar transformed into a Bath Butterfly (Sir Joseph Banks)
The great South Sea caterpillar transformed into a Bath Butterfly (Sir Joseph Banks)
The great South Sea caterpillar transformed into a Bath Butterfly (Sir Joseph Banks)

The Bath Butterfly

by Angus Trumble, 1 September 2014

The caricaturist and engraver James Gillray's biting satires about Sir Joseph Banks. 

Canberra Close Up: Angus Trumble
Canberra Close Up: Angus Trumble
Canberra Close Up: Angus Trumble

Desert Island Discs

by Angus Trumble, 21 August 2014

I agonized over the choice of four songs to take with me to the ABC Studios for Alex Sloan’s Canberra 666 afternoon program, a sort of iteration of the old BBC Desert Island Discs.

Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba

Fame or celebrity?

by Angus Trumble, 1 August 2014

A question lately cropped up in connection with Madame Melba as to whether fame and celebrity are not essentially the same thing. My feeling is that they are different.

Ursula Hoff
Ursula Hoff
Ursula Hoff

Remembering Ursula

by Angus Trumble, 1 July 2014

I first knew Dr. Hoff when in 1986, long after retiring from the National Gallery of Victoria, she taught a graduate seminar on Rembrandt.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1899 by Carl Pietzner
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1899 by Carl Pietzner
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1899 by Carl Pietzner

The Archduke

by Angus Trumble, 1 June 2014

The immediate chain of events that led to the outbreak of the First World War began 100 years ago on June 28.

Angus Trumble with Self portrait at easel by Fred Williams
Angus Trumble with Self portrait at easel by Fred Williams
Angus Trumble with Self portrait at easel by Fred Williams

Autumn in Canberra

by Angus Trumble, 1 May 2014

In Persuasion (1818), a long walk on a fine autumn day affords Anne Elliot an opportunity to ruminate wistfully and at great length upon declining happiness, youth and hope.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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