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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.

Thomas Woolner

Missing Persons

Thomas Woolner in Australia
About Face article

Desperately seeking Woolner medallions

Angus Trumble with Portrait of Sir Joseph Banks by Thomas Phillips

Banksia and grevillea

About Face article

Portraits can render honour to remarkable men and women, but there are other ways.

Ursula Hoff

Remembering Ursula

About Face article

I first knew Dr. Hoff when in 1986, long after retiring from the National Gallery of Victoria, she taught a graduate seminar on Rembrandt.

Cocky McGrath

About Face article

The long life and few words of a vice-regal cockatoo

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

Helen Borthwick née Pearson

The personal and the historical

About Face article

Where do we draw a line between the personal and the historical? Although she died in Melbourne in 1975, when I was not quite eleven years old, I have the vividest memories of my maternal grandmother Helen Borthwick.

Canberra Close Up: Angus Trumble

Desert Island Discs

About Face article

I agonized over the choice of four songs to take with me to the ABC Studios for Alex Sloan’s Canberra 666 afternoon program, a sort of iteration of the old BBC Desert Island Discs.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Signed and dated 1843 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Queen Victoria

About Face article

Last Sunday I had the privilege of appearing at the Canberra Writers’ Festival in conversation with Julia Baird. The subject of our session was Julia’s recent biography, Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman who Ruled an Empire.

Barry Humphries

Talking heads

About Face article

In their own words lead researcher Louise Maher on the novel project that lets the Gallery’s portraits speak for themselves.

Sunset in the drawing room at Chesney Wold by Hablot Knight Brown

Portraiture in a Bleak House

About Face article

It may seem an odd thing to do at one’s leisure on a beautiful tropical island, but I spent much of my midwinter break a few weeks ago re-reading Bleak House.

Little John of Colchester, a poor lunatic, c.1823 by John Dempsey

Dempsey's people

About Face article

Those of you who are active in social media circles may be aware that through the past week I have unleashed a blitz on Facebook and Instagram in connection with our new winter exhibition Dempsey’s People: A Folio of British Street Portraits, 1824−1844.

Mirka - 9 Collins Street

Wicked but Virtuous

About Face article

Faith Stellmaker shares pioneering artist and restaurateur Mirka Mora’s lasting legacy on Melbourne’s art, dining and culture.

Indexing, the art of

About Face article

The first index I created was for my first book, and, to my astonishment, that was almost twenty-five years ago.

Brooke Lockett, Heidi Martin, Karen Nanasca, Halaina Hills; New York, 2012 Lisa Tomasetti

Dance like everyone’s watching

About Face article

Penelope Grist’s spirits soar with Lisa Tomasetti’s Dancers in the Streets series.

The National Portrait Gallery's 20th birthday party

The National Portrait Gallery's 20th Anniversary

About Face article

Last month we marked the twentieth anniversary of the formal establishment of the National Portrait Gallery, the tenth of the opening of our signature building, and the fifth of our having become a statutory authority under Commonwealth legislation.

Mural of Italian/Roman actress Anna Magnani (1908­–1973) with face mask, April 2020 Unknown artist

Of plague and portraits

About Face article

Corinna Cullen on the symbolic power of pandemic-related imagery over the ages.

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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