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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.

What's on

Tuesday 6 December 2022 – Friday 6 December 2024

Collection display in Gallery Three, April 2023
Collection display in Gallery Three, April 2023
Collection display in Gallery Three, April 2023
Collection display in Gallery Three, April 2023

Collection display galleries

Exhibition open every day

The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia.

Linda Puna
Linda Puna
Linda Puna
Linda Puna

Mayatjara by Robert Fielding

In Gallery One

Exhibition closes 15 January

The series captures Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Traditional Owners and custodians, respected and significant leaders, advocates and artists within the communities of the APY Lands.

Maria
Maria
Maria
Maria

WHO ARE YOU

Australian portraiture

Exhibition closes 29 January

Featuring 130 works across painting, film, photography, screen printing, sculpture, and then some – it explores our inner worlds, outer selves, intimacy, isolation, celebrity and more.

Marion Borgelt
Marion Borgelt
Marion Borgelt
Marion Borgelt

Time and Line

In Gallery Seven

Exhibition closes 19 February

Encompassing the 1820s to the 2020s, Time and Line showcases the depth and extent of our drawing collection.

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

The work of art

In Galleries Eight and Nine

Exhibition closes 23 May

It takes a village to raise a creative! Get an insight into the often-unseen work and supporters needed for the arts to thrive. The work of art documents the creative process, evoke states of creativity and inspiration, and shows us clues about the subject’s own work from the way artists portray them.

Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman

At ease

In Gallery One

Exhibition opens 21 January

Enjoy, sit back, and relax with some of our favourites from the Gallery’s collection, where they find themselves expertly – and comfortably – captured by their artists.

Portrait23: Identity logo
Portrait23: Identity logo
Portrait23: Identity logo
Portrait23: Identity logo

Portrait23: Identity

Exhibition opens 10 March

Portraiture. Not as you know it. We invite you to stretch, push, resist and transcend portraiture’s conventional constraints.

Maggie
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie

Collection Highlights Tour

Daily at 11:15am and 2:15pm

Join us in the Gallery for this free 30-minute tour of the collection, exploring portrait stories and the history of the building.

Bookings optional
Twelve portraits of finalists for the Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize 2023
Twelve portraits of finalists for the Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize 2023
Twelve portraits of finalists for the Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize 2023
Twelve portraits of finalists for the Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize 2023

Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize 2023

Exhibition opens 25 March

Little Darlings is for primary and secondary students, with four separate categories across Kindergarten to Year 12. Responding to the theme ‘identity’, students painted, drew, photographed, printed or combined all of these to make their portrait.

Marea Gazzard
Marea Gazzard
Marea Gazzard
Marea Gazzard

The Iconoclasts

In Gallery Three

Open every day

Australian portraiture of the mid-twentieth century was rich with the influence of European modernism, exemplified by the work of artists including Arthur Boyd, Judy Cassab and Clifton Pugh.

Mary Chomley
Mary Chomley
Mary Chomley
Mary Chomley

The Cosmopolitans

In Gallery Two

Exhibition opens 1 April

Spanning the 1880s to the 1930s, this collection display celebrates the innovations in art – and life – introduced by the generation of Australians who travelled to London and Paris for experience and inspiration in the decades either side of 1900.

Self portrait, 2022 RJ Parker
Self portrait, 2022 RJ Parker
Self portrait, 2022 RJ Parker
Self portrait, 2022 RJ Parker

Gulgawarnigu

Thinking of something, someone

Exhibition opens 3 June

In partnership with Big hART we are proud to present Gulgawarnigu - Thinking of something, someone, a national presentation of digital artworks created from Ngarluma country leramagadu (Roebourne), in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Ruby (left view), 2022 Shea Kirk
Ruby (left view), 2022 Shea Kirk
Ruby (left view), 2022 Shea Kirk
Ruby (left view), 2022 Shea Kirk

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2023

Exhibition opens 17 June

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Bookings available
An Afternoon (Aunty Jenny Munro at the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy)
An Afternoon (Aunty Jenny Munro at the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy)
An Afternoon (Aunty Jenny Munro at the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy)
An Afternoon (Aunty Jenny Munro at the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy)

This is my place

In Gallery Four

Open every day

We all have places where we feel at ease, a sense of belonging, of ownership, of relaxation, of self. Given the opportunity, portraitists love to place their sitters in an environment where they are most at home.

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

Self portrait: Myself and I

In Gallery Five

Open every day

Encompassing works created over the past 80 years, this selection of portraits from the Gallery’s collection celebrates inventiveness and diversity in approaches to self portraiture.

Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman
Cathy Freeman

Frocked up

In Gallery Six

Open every day

The selection of works in Frocked up richly demonstrates the interconnectedness of costume and portraiture – and the many ways in which artists have employed the representation of dress to powerful, insightful effect.

James, Rebecca and Sam Mapu
James, Rebecca and Sam Mapu
James, Rebecca and Sam Mapu
James, Rebecca and Sam Mapu

Time and light

In Gallery Seven

Exhibition opens 21 July

This sample of 56 photographs takes in some of the smallest photographs we own and some of the largest, some of the earliest and some of the most recent, as well as multiple photographic processes from daguerreotypes to digital media.

Tempe Manning Self-portrait 1939
Tempe Manning Self-portrait 1939
Tempe Manning Self-portrait 1939
Tempe Manning Self-portrait 1939

Archie 100

A Century of the Archibald Prize

Exhibition opens 20 October

This major exhibition celebrates 100 years of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award and reflects upon the changing face of our nation.

Bookings available
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie

Maggie Beer

In Gallery One

Exhibition opens 7 December

Our most recent commission, the portrait of Maggie Beer by Del Kathryn Barton both combines a statuesque almost devotional likeness with a spell-binding and dream-like personalised symbology of the sitter.

Art Cart
Art Cart
Art Cart
Art Cart

Art Cart

10:00am, Wed 31 Jan until Sun 24 Mar

Create memories and connect with loved ones through the art of postcard-making, inspired by The Huxleys’ self-portraits Smalltown Boy (Surfers Paradise) and Smalltown Boy (Perth). All materials provided; for all ages and abilities.

Maggie
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie

Collection Highlights Tour

Daily at 11:15am and 2:15pm

Join us in the Gallery for this free 30-minute tour of the collection, exploring portrait stories and the history of the building.

Bookings optional
Wesley Enoch and David McAllister
Wesley Enoch and David McAllister
Wesley Enoch and David McAllister
Wesley Enoch and David McAllister

Virtual Highlight Tour

All the Lovers

12:30pm, Tue 13 Feb
Live online

Join us to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit! Maybe you’ll find a new love while exploring the portraits of some of Australia’s favourite power couples.

Bookings required
Drawn in
Drawn in
Drawn in
Drawn in

Drawn in

Marcus Amann

1:00pm, Sun 18 Feb

Draw while listening to Marcus Amann as he plays instrumental pieces from the traditions of bluegrass, blues, jazz and Irish music on the acoustic five-string banjo.

Susan Lord
Susan Lord
Susan Lord
Susan Lord

Virtual Highlight Tour

Styling Australia

12:30pm, Tue 20 Feb
Live online

From notions of propriety to celebrating our flora and fauna, join us as we look at what it means to get all frocked up in Australia.

Bookings required
Me
Me
Me
Me

Little Faces

10:30am, Wed 21 Feb

Do we have a treat for the smaller humans in your life! Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Bookings required
Me
Me
Me
Me

Little Faces

10:30am, Thu 22 Feb

Do we have a treat for the smaller humans in your life! Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Bookings required
Me
Me
Me
Me

Little Faces

9:30am, 10:30am, Fri 23 Feb

Do we have a treat for the smaller humans in your life! Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Bookings required
Michelle de Kretser, Geography & History
Michelle de Kretser, Geography & History
Michelle de Kretser, Geography & History
Michelle de Kretser, Geography & History

Virtual Highlight Tour

Wonderful Wordsmiths

12:30pm, Tue 27 Feb
Live online

What do artists reveal or conceal about wonderful wordsmiths? This week we’re looking at the talented writers in our collection.

Bookings required
Wattle, 2021 Dylan Mooney
Wattle, 2021 Dylan Mooney
Wattle, 2021 Dylan Mooney
Wattle, 2021 Dylan Mooney

Enlighten

Dylan Mooney: Drawn Together

8:00pm, Fri 1 Mar until Mon 11 Mar

We are excited to be partnering with Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander artist Dylan Mooney, for the 2024 Enlighten Festival. This year’s display will see Mooney transform the façade of the Gallery building into a giant digital canvas via a livestreamed drawing performance.

Portrait of Nell #15
Portrait of Nell #15
Portrait of Nell #15
Portrait of Nell #15

Virtual Highlight Tour

Call me Nell: A dame, the artist, and a star

12:30pm, Tue 5 Mar
Live online

Join us this International Women’s Day to reflect on three women’s important contribution to the Australian arts landscape.

Bookings required
Self-nature is subtle and mysterious - Tree Woman / Woman Tree
Self-nature is subtle and mysterious - Tree Woman / Woman Tree
Self-nature is subtle and mysterious - Tree Woman / Woman Tree
Self-nature is subtle and mysterious - Tree Woman / Woman Tree

March Spotlight Series

10:15am, Wed 6 Mar
Bookings required
William Dakin
William Dakin
William Dakin
William Dakin

Virtual Highlight Tour

Camouflage

12:30pm, Tue 12 Mar
Live online

Let’s hold a paint brush up to three war artists from our collection who used paint to solve the challenges of concealment and visual deception at war.

Bookings required
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans
Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary, 2006 by Ralph Heimans

Ralph Heimans. Portraiture. Power. Influence.

Circle of Friends exclusive preview

2:00pm, Thu 14 Mar

As a member of our Circle of Friends, we invite you to join Joanna Gilmour, Senior Curator, National Portrait Gallery, and be the first to see the exhibition.

Bookings required
HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, 2006 Ralph Heimans AM
HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, 2006 Ralph Heimans AM
HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, 2006 Ralph Heimans AM
HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, 2006 Ralph Heimans AM

Ralph Heimans

Portraiture. Power. Influence.

Exhibition opens 15 March

The exhibition will feature some of the most significant portraits in the artist’s career to date, from early major works such as his painting of HM Queen Mary of Denmark through to his most recent.

Bookings available
Ralph Heimans
Ralph Heimans
Ralph Heimans
Ralph Heimans

Ralph Heimans

In Conversation

5:30pm, Fri 15 Mar

Join artist Ralph Heimans and Senior Curator, Joanna Gilmour, in conversation to celebrate the opening of Ralph Heimans: Portraiture. Power. Influence.

Bookings required
The Architecture of Music (Vladimir Ashkenazy)
The Architecture of Music (Vladimir Ashkenazy)
The Architecture of Music (Vladimir Ashkenazy)
The Architecture of Music (Vladimir Ashkenazy)

Virtual Highlight Tour

Curator's intro: Ralph Heimans

12:30pm, Tue 19 Mar
Live online

Join Joanna Gilmour, Senior Curator, for a peek at some of the portraits and themes in the exhibition Ralph Heimans: Portraiture. Power. Influence.

Bookings required
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie

Little Faces

10:30am, Wed 20 Mar

Do we have a treat for the smaller humans in your life! Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Bookings required
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie

Little Faces

10:30am, Thu 21 Mar

Do we have a treat for the smaller humans in your life! Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Bookings required
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie
Maggie

Little Faces

9:30am, 10:30am, Fri 22 Mar

Do we have a treat for the smaller humans in your life! Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Bookings required
Fiona McMonagle sitting in her studio with paint splatters on the white walls
Fiona McMonagle sitting in her studio with paint splatters on the white walls
Fiona McMonagle sitting in her studio with paint splatters on the white walls
Fiona McMonagle sitting in her studio with paint splatters on the white walls

Explore watercolour

With Fiona McMonagle

2:00pm, Fri 22 Mar
Live online

Join artist Fiona McMonagle online and discover the wonders of watercolour painting.

Bookings required
Portrait of Benita Collings
Portrait of Benita Collings
Portrait of Benita Collings
Portrait of Benita Collings

Virtual Highlight Tour

Through the Windows

12:30pm, Tue 26 Mar
Live online

Learn about children's television presenters who have helped to shape generations of young minds across Australia.

Bookings required
Larissa Kovalchuk
Larissa Kovalchuk
Larissa Kovalchuk
Larissa Kovalchuk

Drawn in

Larissa Kovalchuk

1:00pm, Sun 31 Mar

Draw while listening to live music by Larissa Kovalchuk as she plays an assortment of gentle sounds on the bandura, combined with beautiful vocals.

Ruth Park
Ruth Park
Ruth Park
Ruth Park

Virtual Highlight Tour

The books that we remember

12:30pm, Tue 23 Apr
Live online

Join us this World Book Day to explore portraits of some of Australia’s most cherished childhood picture book authors.

Bookings required

More events

Saturday 7 December 2024 – Tuesday 8 December 2026
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
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 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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency