Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery from Saturday 6 June. Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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.

Tommy Emmanuel, 1993

Jim Rolon

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 35.5 cm x 27.2 cm, image: 24.8 cm x 24.5 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Tommy Emmanuel AM (b. 1955), guitarist, was taught to play by his mother and is said to have been a working musician by the age of six. He and his brother, Phil, toured the country with their parents, playing in one town after another until the boys were compelled by law to attend school. Having settled in Parkes when he was eleven, Tommy played in various Sydney bands through the 1970s, made his first album in 1979 and joined the re-formed Dragon for much of the 1980s. In 1987 he released his second album, Up from Down Under; he has since released more than twenty albums, and has won international renown as a fingerpicking star. In 1997, when the pair made a recording together, legendary guitarist Chet Atkins called Emmanuel ‘one of the greatest guitar players I’ve ever seen’. Tommy and Phil Emmanuel played together at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Although he experienced a heart health scare and exhaustion in 2007, in 2008 and 2010 he was Guitar Player magazine’s readers’ choice for the best acoustic guitarist and continues to tour and record.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Wayne Williams 2012

Accession number: 2012.120

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Jim Rolon (age 37 in 1993)

Tommy Emmanuel (age 38 in 1993)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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.

Plan your visit

Location, accessibility and amenities

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

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.