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Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage your visit so please book ahead. Need to cancel or rejig? Email bookings@npg.gov.au

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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.

Pub Rock

Your backstage pass to 70s and 80s sounds and scenes

Daily from Saturday 5 September 2020 until Sunday 14 March 2021

Bookings essential - free

Ticketed entry is in place for all visits to the Gallery. Your booking lets you wander through all the galley spaces, not just one exhibition. Phew! No need to worry about which one you want to see!

Celebrate the people, places and sounds of Australian pub rock and its enduring impact on our nation’s identity.

Get in amongst the staged portraits, publicity shots and grungy energy of live performance as pioneering acts like The Easybeats, Little Pattie and Johnny O’Keefe share the stage with global players and local favourites. The line-up includes AC/DC, Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, INXS, Nick Cave, The Bee Gees, Kylie Minogue, Paul Kelly, Yothu Yindi, Marcia Hines and many more.

This vibrant (sometimes sweaty) exhibition of homegrown rock ‘n’ roll, punk and pop features works from the NPG collection alongside images by leading Australian music photographers.

See the legends AND hear them!

We made you a Spotify playlist, so turn it up to 11 and go wild (or mild, whatever your style) while you browse the exhibition!

What was your favourite gig? Legendary or guilty secret? Tell us for a chance to win...

Related information

Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence
Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence
Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence
Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence

The play’s the thing

About Face article

18 November 2020

Penelope Grist charts an immersive path through Stuart Spence’s photography.

Jessica Mauboy, 2018 David Rosetzky
Jessica Mauboy, 2018 David Rosetzky
Jessica Mauboy, 2018 David Rosetzky
Jessica Mauboy, 2018 David Rosetzky

Before hand

The private life of a portrait

Current exhibition

from Saturday 10 October 2020

Revealing the backstories behind the NPG collection, Before hand features interviews with artists and sitters as well as working drawings, scrapbooks, sketches and footage taken in artists’ studios and out on location.

Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019

Collection display galleries

Current exhibition

Open every day

The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia.

© Shirley Purdie/Copyright Agency, 2020
© Shirley Purdie/Copyright Agency, 2020
© Shirley Purdie/Copyright Agency, 2020
© Shirley Purdie/Copyright Agency, 2020

Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

Shirley Purdie

Previous exhibition, 2020

Using ochres collected on her country in Western Australia’s East Kimberley, Shirley Purdie’s self-portrait is a kaleidoscope of traditional Gija stories and Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) passed down to her.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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.