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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.

Elegance in exile

Portrait drawings from colonial Australia
Previous exhibition, 2012

Elegance in exile is an exhibition surveying the work of Richard Read senior, Thomas Bock, Thomas Griffiths Wainewright and Charles Rodius: four artists who, though exiled to Australia as convicts, created many of the most significant and elegant portraits of the colonial period.

Uncommon Australians

Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery
Previous exhibition, 1992

In 1988 philanthropists Gordon and Marilyn Darling decided to make an Australian portrait gallery a reality, overseeing the development of the 1992 touring exhibition Uncommon Australians.

Sir William Dargie

A Ninetieth Birthday Tribute
Previous exhibition, 2002

As a tribute to Sir William Dargie's singular contribution to Australian art and cultural institutions, and on the occasion of his birthday, The Australian War Memorial, Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery will mount exhibitions of his work between May and October

Charles, 2015 video: 7 minutes

Digital Portraiture Award 2016

Previous exhibition, 2016

An annual event to extend traditional notions of portraiture and foster emerging artists with an interest in new technology.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012

Previous exhibition, 2012

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Beauty and strength

Portraits by Michael Riley
Previous exhibition, 2014

Influential Indigenous Australian artist Michael Riley (1960 - 2004) created these portrait photographs between 1984 and 1990 - they stand as an intricately connected group portrait of the vibrant urban-based Indigenous arts community in Sydney's inner-west at a formative moment.

Judy Cassab

The artist's diary
Previous exhibition, 2013

The artist's diary profiles six decades of Cassab's work, from the early portrait commissions of the 1950s to later paintings that have helped confirm her eminent place in the canon of Australian portraiture.

Peter Sculthorpe

A Celebration
Previous exhibition, 2009

To celebrate Peter Sculthorpe's 80th birthday, the National Portrait Gallery has created a feature exhibition of portraits and associated biographic material drawn from the National Portrait Gallery and the composer’s personal collection.

Copeman, gardener, Great Yarmouth by John Dempsey

Dempsey's people

A folio of British street portraits 1824–1844
Previous exhibition, 2017

Dempsey’s people: a folio of British street portraits 1824–1844 is the first exhibition to showcase the compelling watercolour images of English street people made by the itinerant English painter John Dempsey throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.

Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol

Life and time

Portraits by Rod McNicol
Previous exhibition, 2015

Australian photographer Rod McNicol has consistently analysed the passing of time through the evidence of the photographic portrait. At once confronting and tender, McNicol’s portrait photographs are bold and intimate. 

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (detail), 2006 (printed 2020) © Peter Brew-Bevan

Australian Love stories

Family, friends, fanatics and foes (and everything in between!)
Current exhibition

Reconnect and reflect with our new major exhibition, Australian Love Stories (in real life!) as we explore love, affection and connection in all its guises.

Tea time, c.1898–1902 by Rupert Bunny (1864–1947)

Impressions

Painting light and life
Previous exhibition, 2011

Impressions: Painting light and life presents portraits by, and of, artists at the heart of Australian impressionism including Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin.

Decorative portrait – Len Lye, c.1925 by Rayner Hoff (1894-1937)

Presence and Absence

Portrait Sculpture in Australia
Previous exhibition, 2003

This exhibition focuses on exploring national and communal identity through sculptural production in Australia, from the early decades of settlement through to the present day

The Reflecting Eye

Portraits of Australian Visual Artists
Touring exhibition, 1996

As the first National Portrait Gallery travelling exhibition, The reflecting eye: portraits of Australian visual artists represents an important milestone in the history of Australia's National Portrait Gallery.

Australian Visit

Previous exhibition, 2006

The exhibition will include works of art from the NPG Canberra's permanent collection with some inward loans and aims to highlight the achievements of notable Australians.

Angela Belgiorno-Zegna, 2001 by Salvatore Zofrea

Intimate Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2002

Intimate Portraits is an exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints that explore the less public side of portraiture

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency