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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.

Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh
Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh

Talking heads

by Louise Maher, 21 December 2020

In their own words lead researcher Louise Maher on the novel project that lets the Gallery’s portraits speak for themselves.

Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence
Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence
Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence

The play’s the thing

by Penelope Grist, 18 November 2020

Penelope Grist charts an immersive path through Stuart Spence’s photography.

Brooke Lockett, Heidi Martin, Karen Nanasca, Halaina Hills; New York, 2012 Lisa Tomasetti
Brooke Lockett, Heidi Martin, Karen Nanasca, Halaina Hills; New York, 2012 Lisa Tomasetti
Brooke Lockett, Heidi Martin, Karen Nanasca, Halaina Hills; New York, 2012 Lisa Tomasetti

Dance like everyone’s watching

by Penelope Grist, 8 September 2020

Penelope Grist’s spirits soar with Lisa Tomasetti’s Dancers in the Streets series.

Sir Douglas Mawson, c. 1916 Thomson Studios
Sir Douglas Mawson, c. 1916 Thomson Studios
Sir Douglas Mawson, c. 1916 Thomson Studios

Staying home

True south #2

by Joanna Gilmour, 14 July 2020

Joanna Gilmour brings a mindful Douglas Mawson’s perspective to bear on the concept of isolation.

Untitled, Conductors, Tramways series, 1990 © Matt Nettheim
Untitled, Conductors, Tramways series, 1990 © Matt Nettheim
Untitled, Conductors, Tramways series, 1990 © Matt Nettheim

Back track

by Penelope Grist, 1 July 2020

Penelope Grist finds photographer Matt Nettheim re-visiting a formative and fulfilling career tram stop.

The Dance - David McAllister, 2016 Peter Brew-Bevan
The Dance - David McAllister, 2016 Peter Brew-Bevan
The Dance - David McAllister, 2016 Peter Brew-Bevan

Home is where the art is

by Tedi Bills, 9 June 2020

Tedi Bills on how social media in the age of COVID-19 has fanned the flames of our portrait fascination.

Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe, 2018 Shirley Purdie
Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe, 2018 Shirley Purdie
Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe, 2018 Shirley Purdie

Storied portrait

by Emily Casey, 27 May 2020

Emily Casey takes in Shirley Purdie’s remarkable self-portrait, Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe.

Olegas Truchanas, 1971 Ralph Hope-Johnstone
Olegas Truchanas, 1971 Ralph Hope-Johnstone
Olegas Truchanas, 1971 Ralph Hope-Johnstone

Giving a dam

True south #1

by Joanna Gilmour, 22 May 2020

Ensconced and meditative in crisp Tasmania, Joanna Gilmour pays tribute to passionate green advocate and photographer Olegas Truchanas.

Mural of Italian/Roman actress Anna Magnani (1908­–1973) with face mask, April 2020 Unknown artist
Mural of Italian/Roman actress Anna Magnani (1908­–1973) with face mask, April 2020 Unknown artist
Mural of Italian/Roman actress Anna Magnani (1908­–1973) with face mask, April 2020 Unknown artist

Of plague and portraits

by Corinna Cullen, 18 May 2020

Corinna Cullen on the symbolic power of pandemic-related imagery over the ages.

Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO
Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO
Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO

Roam alone

by Jon Muir, 4 May 2020

Jon Muir, adventurer and Portrait Gallery Collection subject, really knows about isolation.

Hell's mouth, 2019 Cam Neville
Hell's mouth, 2019 Cam Neville
Hell's mouth, 2019 Cam Neville

Facing the inferno

by Tara James, 15 April 2020

Tara James speaks to Cam Neville about his portrait series, Firefighters.

The eye and the heart

by Nici Cumpston, 6 April 2020

Nici Cumpston immerses herself in the collective vision of the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.