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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.

Good, bad and the ugly

Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.

More information on Good, bad and the ugly

Selected images

Related information

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

Ned Kelly and death masks

'Judge a person by their cover'

Portrait story

Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology.

Bee Miles portrait story video: 2 minutes
Bee Miles portrait story video: 2 minutes
Bee Miles portrait story video: 2 minutes
Bee Miles portrait story video: 2 minutes

Bee Miles

'Eccentricity'

Portrait story

An exploration of Bee Miles' defining characteristic.

Mr Mortimer Lewis, c. 1828 an unknown artist
Mr Mortimer Lewis, c. 1828 an unknown artist
Mr Mortimer Lewis, c. 1828 an unknown artist
Mr Mortimer Lewis, c. 1828 an unknown artist

Little treasures

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2002

The acquisition of the ivory miniatures of Mortimer and Mrs Lewis.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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 both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.