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National Portrait Gallery announces Darling Portrait Prize

3 March 2018

The National Portrait Gallery is thrilled to announce the establishment of a new national portrait painting prize, to be known as the National Portrait Gallery’s Darling Portrait Prize.

Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery, Dr Helen Nugent AO, made the announcement at a dinner acknowledging the ongoing support and dedication of individuals who contributed to making the institution what it is today.

‘The Prize will recognise the significance and relevance of portraiture in Australia and will be an ongoing legacy of Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG (1921-2015), one of the Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons,’ said Dr Nugent.

‘2018 marks twenty years since the Portrait Gallery was established, an achievement that would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication of our Founding Patrons Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Mrs Marilyn Darling AC.’

‘As we enter our twentieth year, we look ahead to the future of the organisation and how we can further the vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling.’

Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Mr Angus Trumble, welcomes the Prize into the Gallery’s current suite of exciting programs and exhibitions.

‘The Portrait Gallery is an advocate for the arts, fostering the creation of outstanding portraiture in a variety of mediums. It is only fitting that with the generosity of our Founding Patron, Gordon Darling, we establish a portrait painting prize,’ said Mr Trumble.

‘The National Portrait Gallery’s Darling Portrait Prize aspires to be the most prestigious portrait painting prize in the country, held at the home of Australian portraiture. We are excited to invite all painters to start thinking about a subject in preparation to begin painting from 1 September.’

The Darling Portrait Prize will be held annually with a cash prize of $75,000 for the winner, continuing the Portrait Gallery’s dedication to supporting and inspiring the best in portraiture. Paintings that meet the Gallery’s Collection Development Policy may be considered for acquisition.

Artists must complete their paintings on or after 1 September 2018 in preparation for the call for entries period, which begins in May 2019. The inaugural exhibition of Prize finalists will be unveiled in September 2019.

Entrants must be an Australian citizen or resident, over the age of 18. Artists may paint any Australian citizen or resident and/or a person or persons who have a strong association with Australia or who has made a significant contribution to Australian life.

The full list of terms and conditions can be found here.

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.