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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.

Spring exhibition program

18 August 2020

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker

The following on-line and physical exhibitions are planned to open at the National Portrait Gallery in coming months. For those who can’t travel at present, selected works from all exhibitions will be included online. The NPG also runs popular Virtual Tours every Tuesday (see below) as well as a range of other activities via PortraitureComesHome on the NPG website, Included here is long-time favourite, Portrait Stories, a series of over 100 mini-movies showcasing the collaboration between portrait artists and their subjects.   

Australian Love Stories

An amorous online adventure launched August 15th

Australian Love Stories is an interactive storybook of Australian devotion, family ties, close friendships, passion and lust, not your usual online exhibition experience, these fascinating portraits and stories become a choose-your-own adventure, where visitors can navigate their way through the portraits and engage with the stories behind them. At the end they are given their own ‘love profile’, based on how and where their love interests led them.

Featuring famous figures from the NPG collection, Australian Love Stories explores universal themes encompassed by ‘love’ and offers an exhaustive feast of love tales, from drama, lust, devotion, seduction and scandal. This intriguing, moving, sometimes hilarious love journey is available for you to play online ahead of a major new physical exhibition scheduled for March 2021.

Pub Rock

5 September 2020 – 14 February 2021

Celebrating the people, places and sounds of Australian pub rock and its enduring impact on the nation’s culture and identity, Pub Rock combines works from the NPG collection with images by leading Australian music photographers. A vibrant celebration of homegrown rock ‘n’ roll, punk and pop, Pub Rock will feature staged portraits and publicity shots alongside images captured during unguarded moments and the grungy energy of live performance. Pioneering acts like The Easybeats, Little Pattie and Johnny O’Keefe will share the stage with globally-successful performers such as AC/DC, INXS, Nick Cave, The Bee Gees and Kylie Minogue and a long list of local favourites including Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Yothu Yindi, Cold Chisel, The Angels, Christine Anu, Marcia Hines and many more.

Videos and a curated Spotify playlist are included in the physical and online versions of the exhibition.

This is my place

19 September 2020 - 28 February, 2021

An antidote to the months spent in isolation at home, This is my place brings a fresh, intimate focus to the places that define who we are – our spiritual homes, habitats and workspaces. Featuring over one hundred works from the National Portrait Gallery Collection – spanning 250 years and incorporating painting, photography, drawing, printmaking and sculpture – This is my place will traverse the continent via the rivers, streets, mountains, studios and sportsgrounds that tell our stories. It’s an exploration of the concept of 'place' in portraiture, as well as the intricate interconnections between landscape, identity and the feeling of home.

Portrait Allsorts

19 October 2020 -31 March 2021

Featuring some of the most popular works from the NPG collection, Portrait Allsorts offers portraiture in all its flavours: painting, photography, drawing, textiles, printmaking and sculpture. Much-loved favourites include portraits of Deborah Mailman by Evert Ploeg, Lee Lin Chin by George Fetting and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop as well as new acquisitions.

Before hand: The private life of a portrait

10 October 2020 – 14 March 2021

A new exhibition revealing the backstories behind iconic works from the NPG collection and the creative and social process of making a portrait, Before hand features interviews with artists and sitters as well as rarely seen working drawings, scrapbooks, sketches and footage taken in artists’ studios and out on location. Featured portraits include photographer Narelle Autio’s portrait of champion cyclist Anna Meares, David Rosetsky’s double-exposure portrait of Australian singer and actress Jessica Mauboy, Peter Brew-Bevan’s working scrapbook for this portrait of dancer and ballet director David McAllister and the transparency drawings that allowed Evert Ploeg to construct his portrait of scientist Derek Denton.

Virtual collection tours

12.30pm every Tuesday

A series of free, interactive virtual collection tours will be presented for all those seeking the Gallery experience but are at home. The thirty-minute tours are facilitated by Gallery Educators using the virtual environment and delivered via Zoom. Facilitators will examine portraits under specific themes including music, LGBTQI rights and environmentalism, encouraging comments, chat and questions from the audience to mimic the IRL experience.

A special virtual tour for the visually and hearing impaired will be delivered in partnership with Arts Access Australia on Tuesday 15th September. The tour will be live captioned, audio described and AUSLAN interpreted.

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King Edward Terrace, Parkes
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