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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.

Sir Douglas Mawson

Staying home

True south #2
About Face article

Joanna Gilmour brings a mindful Douglas Mawson’s perspective to bear on the concept of isolation.

Olegas Truchanas

Giving a dam

True south #1
About Face article

Ensconced and meditative in crisp Tasmania, Joanna Gilmour pays tribute to passionate green advocate and photographer Olegas Truchanas.

General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane

Seeing stars

Celebrating Science Week
About Face article

It has been suggested that Sir Thomas Brisbane’s interest in the New South Wales governorship was as attributable to his passion for astronomy as to the desirability of the position as a prestigious career move.

Percy, Reginald, Monty and George Faithfull, undated by Henry Dorner. Image courtesy the National Museum of Australia.

An affray which deserves particular mention

Ben Hall and his gang outdone, 6 February 1865
About Face article

Bushranger Ben Hall and his cronies held around 40 people hostage in a pub north-west of Goulburn, telling their captives ‘don’t be alarmed; we only came here for a bit of fun’.

Olga Radalyski prison records, on loan from the Public Record Office of Victoria.

The sensational denouement of the case

The Yarra Boot Trunk Tragedy, 12 January 1899
About Face article

The 'Yarra Boot Trunk Tragedy' unfolded a week before Christmas 1898, when some neighbourhood boys noticed a wooden box floating in the river at Richmond. 

James Mccabe Executed Jany. 6th 1826

The consolations of religion

A bushranger meets his maker, 6 January 1826
About Face article

James McCabe provides proof that hanging wasn’t necessarily a fate reserved for the perpetrators of murder and other deeds of darkest hue. 

Henry Louis Bertrand, ca. 1865 photographed by the Milligan Brothers. Collection of the State Library of NSW

A passion eating into your vitals

The ‘Mad Dentist of Wynyard Square’ in court, 18 December 1865
About Face article

The salacious and sordid details of Henry Kinder’s death transfixed Sydneysiders with a case combining murder with seduction, mesmerism, blackmail and poisoning.

Prison photograph of Ned Kelly c.1873, image courtesy National Museum of Australia.

The outlaws coolly disported themselves

Ned Kelly & co at Euroa, 9 and 10 December 1878
About Face article

'Each man arrayed himself in a new rig from head to foot, and even such luxuries as soaps and perfumery were not despised'

Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, c.1879 attributed to Charles Nettleton

Diseased curiosity

Captain Moonlite et al on trial for murder
About Face article

Just after 10.00 o'clock on 3 December 1879, four prisoners were brought from their cells at Darlinghurst Gaol and placed in the dock of a courtroom heaving with agitated spectators

Death mask of George Melville courtesy of National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Old Melbourne Gaol Collection

A colourful story from Sideshow Alley

Infamy, the macabre & the portrait
About Face article

From infamous bushranger to oyster shop display, curator Jo Gilmour explores the life of George Melville.

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Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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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 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