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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.

George Reid paperweight an unknown artist

Some prime ministers

General content

Sarah Engledow explores the history of the prime ministers and artists featured in the exhibition.

Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish

Primed Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

Self portrait, 1949 Louis Kahan

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

Harold Holt Louis Kahan
Harold Holt Louis Kahan
Harold Holt Louis Kahan

Harold Holt, Louis Kahan

Portrait, graphite on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Sir John McEwen Louis Kahan
Sir John McEwen Louis Kahan
Sir John McEwen Louis Kahan

Sir John McEwen, Louis Kahan

Portrait, fibre-tipped pen on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Sir John McEwen Louis Kahan
Sir John McEwen Louis Kahan
Sir John McEwen Louis Kahan

Sir John McEwen, Louis Kahan

Portrait, fibre-tipped pen on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Harold Holt Louis Kahan
Harold Holt Louis Kahan
Harold Holt Louis Kahan

Harold Holt, Louis Kahan

Portrait, fibre-tipped pen and pen and ink on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Studio portrait of servicewoman Lance Corporal Kathleen Jean Mary (Kath) Walker, c.1942

Past present

Magazine article by Krysia Kitch, 2016

Krysia Kitch celebrates Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon), 1999 Esther Erlich

Desperately seeking Sonia

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Esther Erlich’s portrait of Lady McMahon.

Janice Wakely, 1959 Helmut Newton

Generous Janice

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow puts four gifts to the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection in context.

Margaret Whitlam, 2005 Sahlan Hayes

Open Air Portraits in the Landscape

Previous exhibition, 2008

Open Air is an exhibition of portraits of Australians in environments of particular significance to them.

Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh

Clifton Pugh Australians

Previous exhibition, 2005

This exhibition offers a comprehensive display of Clifton Pugh's portraits revealing his development and growth from tonal paintings to a unique style that was in demand from politicians, artists, academics and Australian personalities.

Self portrait, 1954

A sketch for some portraits

Magazine article by Judith Pugh, 2005

Judith Pugh reflects on Clifton Pugh's approach to portrait making.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker

Depth of Field Portrait Photography from the Collection

Previous exhibition, 2004

Over the last five years the National Portrait Gallery has developed a collection of portrait photographs that reflects both the strength and diversity of Australian achievement as well as the talents of our photographers.

John Gorton, 1997 Nathan Kelly
John Gorton, 1997 Nathan Kelly
John Gorton, 1997 Nathan Kelly

John Gorton, 1997 Nathan Kelly

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002

President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport, 1966 (printed 2000) David Moore
President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport, 1966 (printed 2000) David Moore
President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport, 1966 (printed 2000) David Moore

President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport, 1966 (printed 2000) David Moore

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
The series David Moore: From Face to Face was acquired by gift of the artist and financial assistance from Timothy Fairfax AC and L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2001

We would like to thank our partners.
© 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.