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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.

Video still from Dream Job, 2011 by David M Thomas

David M Thomas Dream Job

Previous exhibition, 2011

Since 1993 Brisbane-based artist David M Thomas has investigated self identity through art works that encompass painting, text, audio, video and performance.

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.

Curatorial discussion of the Inner Worlds exhibition  video: 11 minutes

Inner Worlds Portraits and Psychology

Previous exhibition, 2011

Portraits of Australia’s pioneering psychologists and artworks by artists fascinated by the subconscious mind.

Divide (Self portrait), 2011 Sam Jinks

Dissections Layered portraits from the collection

Previous exhibition, 2016

This display sets two impressive portraits from the collection into direct dialogue: Sam Jinks’ sculptural self portrait and Nick Mourtzakis’ painted portrait of David Chalmers, along with related maquette and sketches.Together they explore physical and psychological manifestations of the strata of self-hood.

Leonard French, Heathcote, Victoria, 1969 (printed 2000) David Moore

From Face to Face Portraits by David Moore

Previous exhibition, 2000

Through David Moore's camera we meet many of the outstanding figures of the twentieth century - in diverse areas of achievement - as well as anonymous faces which speak directly to us in these photographs.

David Campese II, 2000 Paul Newton

Sporting Archibald

Previous exhibition, 2000
Celebrating the focus on sport during 2000, this special exhibition features our national sporting heroes and heroines immortalised on canvas
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva

Darling Portrait Prize

Previous exhibition, 2020

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

Jessica Mauboy, 2018 David Rosetzky

Before hand The private life of a portrait

Current exhibition

Revealing the backstories behind the NPG collection, Before hand features interviews with artists and sitters as well as working drawings, scrapbooks, sketches and footage taken in artists’ studios and out on location.

Sir Richard Branson, 1999 by David Mach (b. 1956)

Best of British Contemporary Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, London

Previous exhibition, 2000

For the first hundred years or so of its existence, The National Portrait Gallery in London had no contemporary collection at all

Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley

Bare Degrees of undress

Previous exhibition, 2015

Bare: Degrees of undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. 

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016

Previous exhibition, 2016

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

Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018

Previous exhibition, 2018

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Miranda Otto, 1997 Montalbetti & Campbell

Eye to eye

Previous exhibition, 2019

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze.

Alec Hope, c. 1985 (printed 2007) David Brooks

A D Hope and his circle

Previous exhibition, 2007

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of poet Alec Derwent Hope AC OBE (1907-2000), the National Portrait Gallery exhibited a selection from its many portraits of Australian poets and authors.

On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis At 21 Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer

Previous exhibition, 2013

Elvis at 21 is a photographic exhibition capturing Elvis’ rise to fame in the year 1956, before security and money built walls between him and his fans.

Matthew Martin, 2013 by Andrew Cowen

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

Previous exhibition, 2014

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.

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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.