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Update on Temporary Closure of the National Portrait Gallery

15 April 2019

The National Portrait Gallery will close its doors from Tuesday 23 April 2019, but the public are still able to experience the home of portraiture during the four-month closure. 

Director of the Portrait Gallery, Karen Quinlan says that travelling and satellite exhibitions, off-site events and an exciting digital program are all in store for everyone to enjoy.

“We may be closed but we are certainly not taking a break.  We are off on an adventure around Australia – so if you cannot come to us, we are going to try and come to you.”

“Our favourite touring exhibitions will continue and during the closure our Access and Learning team will accompany the exhibitions to present tailored community and school programs around the country.  In addition to this, out videographer will be on the road with the touring shows, meeting people at regional art galleries throughout Australia, recording interviews and creating new mini documentaries.  These will be featured regularly on our website and social media channels. 

“We’ll also be displaying a special satellite exhibition from mid-August at Parliament House ICONS - a contemporary photographic portrait exhibition of prominent Australians drawn from our collection.  These dynamic and bold portraits celebrate the achievements of outstanding Australians from culture, sport and science.” 

The National Portrait Gallery will then re-open in late August and Karen Quinlan will announce her plans for the 2020 exhibition program in mid-September.      

Closure program overview


Little Faces to be held at the National Museum of Australia – 1st Thursday and Friday in June and July

Outdoor Portrait Conversations at various public art sculptures – 3rd Sunday in May, June, July and August

Studio Masterclass with Julie Bradley for teens at ANCA studios in Dickson – Saturday 29 June

Virtual Highlights Tours – Monday 20 May, Thursday 27 June, Friday 26 July, Tuesday 13 August

Story time at Old Parliament House – Thursday 11 July

Travelling exhibitions

Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits

  • HOTA, Home of the Arts, Gold Coast – until 28 April 2019
  • Bathurst Regional Art Gallery – 7 June to 28 July

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2019

  • Collie Art Gallery – 26 April to 9 June 2019
  • Geraldton Regional Art Gallery – 27 July to 22 September 2019
  • Blue Mountains Cultural Centre – 25 January – 22 March 2020

Starstruck: On Location

  • Shoalhaven Regional Gallery – 1 May to 1 June 2019
  • Mildura Arts Centre – 14 October to 1 December 2019
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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 Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.