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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 Grant Matthews

Jimmy Barnes at The Coogee Bay Hotel 1984 (detail) Grant Matthews. Gift of John McLean 2008

Pub Rock

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

Previous exhibition
from Saturday 5 September 2020 until Sunday 14 March 2021

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 people

Joanna Gilmour (curator)

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.

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

Currently closed

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

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa
Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa
Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa
Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa

Husbands and Wives

Photographic Portraits from 19th Century Australia

Previous exhibition, 2010

'I have just been to my dressing case to take a peep at you.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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 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