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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.

In the Lounge, 2006 by North Sullivan

Seduce, Amuse, Entertain NPPP 2007 exhibition essay

General content

Michael Desmond, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2007 Prize.

Damon, singer, 2000 by Julian Opie

Movement is my radar

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2015

Michael Desmond charts the path of portraiture, arriving at Julian Opie’s digital realm.

Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole

Skater Portraits by Nikki Toole

Previous exhibition, 2012

Nikki Toole has travelled the world to photograph skateboarders.

Errol Flynn, 1938 (printed 2008) George Hurrell
Errol Flynn, 1938 (printed 2008) George Hurrell
Errol Flynn, 1938 (printed 2008) George Hurrell

Errol Flynn, 1938 (printed 2008) George Hurrell

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Gift of Michael Desmond 2012
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to the Rev. John Gower, 1851

Essential portraiture

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond in conversation with University of Houston professor of philosophy Cynthia Freeland.

Clifton Pugh painting in the studio, 1974 Fred Williams

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

Neil Murray, 2008 Peter Hudson

True fella

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond profiles the Australian songwriter and performer Neil Murray and his contribution to Australian music.

Martin Schoeller 2008

The God-shaped hole

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Exploring the photographs of Martin Schoeller, Michael Desmond delves into the uneasy pact that exists between celebrity and the camera.

Study for self-portrait, 1963

Inside outside

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond explores the portraiture of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.

Lucy, 2001

Technical terminology

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age.

Lucy, 2001

Present Tense An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age

Previous exhibition, 2010

Technology has been a major influence on art since the invention of the camera, particularly in the field of portraiture.

Edward Paine Butler, c. 1845 Thomas Griffiths Wainewright

Poison pen

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond examines the career of the eighteenth-century suspected poisoner and portrait artist Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

Elizabeth (Murray) 2000

Extremely generous and incredibly close

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond examines the daguerreotype portraits created by American artist Chuck Close.

Blue Mountain, Owner, Trainer, Jockey, James Scobie, 1887 Frederick Woodhouse

Sure thing

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Blue Mountain, Owner, Trainer, Jockey, James Scobie 1887 by Frederick Woodhouse Snr. is a portrait of James Scobie, well known jockey and eminent horse trainer.

Frame from Self portrait, 2008

I walk the line

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Bruce Petty's animated self portrait captures a life's journey compressed into a few minutes.

Dr Brown and Green Old Time Waltz, 1983 Harold Thornton

Where the wild things are

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond explores the complex portrait of Dr Bob Brown by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton.

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© 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.