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Portrait 50 hits the shelves

1 September 2015

Exclusive: Julia Gillard on Joan Kirner in Portrait magazine

With contributions from the 27th Prime Minister Julia Gillard, arts commentator Fiona Gruber, and historian Dr Karl James among others, the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th edition of Portrait has something for everyone.

Editor-in-chief and Director of the Gallery, Angus Trumble, recognises the milestone as a great accomplishment for the magazine and the Gallery.

Portrait was in existence before the Gallery moved into its new home on King Edward Terrace. It has evolved and changed with the Gallery over the years, it is a true reflection of what the Portrait Gallery has to offer,’ said Angus.

‘To mark this special occasion we have brought together a group of talented, well-known arts writers, artists, historians, curators, and a former Prime Minister to give this edition the content it deserves.’

‘Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has written a tribute to the late Joan Kirner, former Victorian Premier, reflecting on Kirner’s "spirit of generosity to those who walked, and sometimes stumbled, on the trail she blazed."’

Also in Portrait’s fiftieth edition:

  • Fiona Gruber, arts commentator and presenter for Radio National’s Books and Arts Portrait Series, re-lives her experience of sitting for a portrait with Australian artist Kristin Headlam in her article, ‘Confessional Conversations’;
  • Jane Raffan, art valuer and writer, explores the popularity of national mythology and masculinity among buyers at Australian auction houses;
  • Dr Karl James, Senior Historian at the Australian War Memorial, comments on the enduring memory and mythology around General Sir John Monash, Australian military commander in the First World War;
  • The issue will also have an exclusive in-depth essay on the Gallery’s new exhibition Bare: Degrees of undress by Curator Penelope Grist (on display until 15 November).

Portrait: Magazine of Australian and International Portraiture is a quarterly magazine produced each season by the National Portrait Gallery. The Spring edition, number 50, will be available from 1 September through selected newsagencies and bookshops.

View previous issues of Portrait at

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