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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.

Heads of the People

A Portrait of Colonial Australia

Daily from Friday 30 June 2000 until Sunday 29 October 2000

For Tom Roberts - Australia's best nineteenth-century portrait painter - neither a proto-national portrait gallery nor more popular collections of portrait heads, were sufficient public celebrations for the notables of Australian history.

Bungaree, late chief of the Broken Bay tribe, Sydney, 1836 William Fernyhough
Bungaree, late chief of the Broken Bay tribe, Sydney, 1836 William Fernyhough

This exhibition examines the development of portraiture in colonial Australia that led to the emergence of a National Portrait Gallery.

13 portraits

1Boardman, Lake Macquarie tribe, 1836. 2Tommy, Broken Bay tribe, 1836. Both William Fernyhough.
We would like to thank our partners.
© 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 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.