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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.

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.

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.

Portrait of Captain John Hunter

Goods and chattels

About Face article

I have been reading systematically through the ads in the earliest issues of the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, such a rich vein of information about certain aspects of daily life in Regency Sydney.

Installation of ‘Face to Face: The New Normal’ at Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery, 2021 Vic McEwan

Facing the feeling

About Face article

Penelope Grist explores the interplay between medicine and portraiture in Vic McEwan’s Face to Face: The New Normal.

Monument to Mrs. Moore St. Luke’s Church, Liverpool, Sydney

Waterloo and Mrs. Moore

About Face article

Beyond the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, a number of other notable anniversaries converge this year. Waterloo deserves a little focussed consideration, for in the decades following 1815 numerous Waterloo and Peninsular War veterans came to Australia.

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.

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.

Group photograph taken at the coronation of King George VI including Queen Elizabeth II, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Queen Mother, 12 May 1937 by Hay Wrightson

Poise and Carats

About Face article

I keep going back to Cartier: The Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia next door, and, within the exhibition, to Princess Marie Louise’s diamond, pearl and sapphire Indian tiara (1923), surely one of the most superb head ornaments ever conceived.

Christmas Island

About Face article

This is my last Trumbology before, in a little more than a week from now, I pass to my successor Karen Quinlan the precious baton of the Directorship of the National Portrait Gallery.

© National Portrait Gallery 2023
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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 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