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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.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1899 by Carl Pietzner

The Archduke

About Face article

The immediate chain of events that led to the outbreak of the First World War began 100 years ago on June 28.

Olga Radalyski prison records, on loan from the Public Record Office of Victoria.

The sensational denouement of the case

The Yarra Boot Trunk Tragedy, 12 January 1899
About Face article

The 'Yarra Boot Trunk Tragedy' unfolded a week before Christmas 1898, when some neighbourhood boys noticed a wooden box floating in the river at Richmond. 

Koko & Kiko (42nd Street Series), 1980 by Larry Clark

Best buds

About Face article

It’s important to have a best bud when you’re growing up. For many boys the transition from boyhood through adolescence is defined by wanting to fit in. 

Hugh 2015, by Warwick Baker

Friends

About Face article

Warwick Baker’s photos of his friends are intimate. They hold a stillness that allows their subjects to be at ease.

The selfie stick

About Face article

Last week ABC Television came to interview me about selfie sticks. The story was prompted by the announcement that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has lately prohibited the use of these inside their galleries. So far as I am aware we have not yet encountered the phenomenon, but no doubt we will before too long.

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.

Percy, Reginald, Monty and George Faithfull, undated by Henry Dorner. Image courtesy the National Museum of Australia.

An affray which deserves particular mention

Ben Hall and his gang outdone, 6 February 1865
About Face article

Bushranger Ben Hall and his cronies held around 40 people hostage in a pub north-west of Goulburn, telling their captives ‘don’t be alarmed; we only came here for a bit of fun’.

Untitled, Conductors, Tramways series, 1990 © Matt Nettheim

Back track

About Face article

Penelope Grist finds photographer Matt Nettheim re-visiting a formative and fulfilling career tram stop.

A papal pet encounter

About Face article

In honour of the launch of the Popular Pet Show, Angus recalls a diplomatic incident with an over-excited golden retriever.

Cocky McGrath

About Face article

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

Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

Storied portrait

About Face article

Emily Casey takes in Shirley Purdie’s remarkable self-portrait, Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe.

Ellen Stirling

Very fine and very like

About Face article

When did notions of very fine and very like become separate qualities of a portrait? And what happens to 'very like' in the age of photographic portraiture?

H.H. Princess Marie Louise

Happy New Year

About Face article

This year (in March) we will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the formal establishment of the National Portrait Gallery. In the life of institutions, twenty years is not a long time.

Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence

The play’s the thing

About Face article

Penelope Grist charts an immersive path through Stuart Spence’s photography.

Luke and Nacoya, 2016 by Daniel Sponiar

The National Photographic Portrait Prize turns ten

About Face article

It is now a little more than 178 years since the French Academy of Sciences was made aware of the invention of the daguerreotype process.

Inditchenous beestes of New Olland

About Face article

A remarkable undated drawing by Edward Lear (1812–88) blends natural history and whimsy.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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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