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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.

Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, photographed in Braidwood gaol, 1867 an unknown artist
Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, photographed in Braidwood gaol, 1867 an unknown artist
Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, photographed in Braidwood gaol, 1867 an unknown artist

Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, photographed in Braidwood gaol, 1867 an unknown artist

Portrait, albumen silver photograph on laid down on a section cut from a nineteenth century album page

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2019

Mary Windeyer, c. 1891 Freeman Brothers
Mary Windeyer, c. 1891 Freeman Brothers
Mary Windeyer, c. 1891 Freeman Brothers

Mary Windeyer, c. 1891 Freeman Brothers

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on studio mount

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of J.B. Windeyer 2018

Sir George Reid, c. 1895 Nelson Illingworth
Sir George Reid, c. 1895 Nelson Illingworth
Sir George Reid, c. 1895 Nelson Illingworth

Sir George Reid, c. 1895 Nelson Illingworth

Portrait, cast plaster, painted

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Henry Lawson, c. 1919 Lionel Lindsay

Regarding Henrys

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

Sarah Engledow ponders the divergent legacies of Messrs Kendall and Lawson.

"Fetteresso" Sir Robert Duff  (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1883 Francois Verheyden
"Fetteresso" Sir Robert Duff  (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1883 Francois Verheyden
"Fetteresso" Sir Robert Duff  (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1883 Francois Verheyden

"Fetteresso" Sir Robert Duff (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1883 Francois Verheyden

Portrait, chromolithograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Governor Sir Robert Duff with Lady Duff, Lord Hopetoun and Vice-Regal Party, 1893 Kerry & Co
Governor Sir Robert Duff with Lady Duff, Lord Hopetoun and Vice-Regal Party, 1893 Kerry & Co
Governor Sir Robert Duff with Lady Duff, Lord Hopetoun and Vice-Regal Party, 1893 Kerry & Co

Governor Sir Robert Duff with Lady Duff, Lord Hopetoun and Vice-Regal Party, 1893 Kerry & Co

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2014

Sir Henry Parkes, c. 1889 an unknown artist
Sir Henry Parkes, c. 1889 an unknown artist
Sir Henry Parkes, c. 1889 an unknown artist

Sir Henry Parkes, c. 1889 an unknown artist

Portrait, glass plate positive

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Adrian McGlusky 2013

The Parkes

The Parkes

Beards

It wasn’t uncommon for the pro-beard fraternity of the mid nineteenth century to cite beards as a sign of wisdom on the grounds that Socrates and other ancient philosophers had worn them.

Arthur Streeton, c. 1890 H. Walter Barnett

The 1890s to the 1940s

Mo and beard timeline

Although the tough, weathered, hard-drinking bushmen of the kind mythologised by writers like Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson are popularly associated with the character of late nineteenth century Australia, it was also a time when alternative ideas about identity began to come into play.

'The crimson thread of kinship' Henry Parkes, c. 1898 Nelson Illingworth
'The crimson thread of kinship' Henry Parkes, c. 1898 Nelson Illingworth
'The crimson thread of kinship' Henry Parkes, c. 1898 Nelson Illingworth

'The crimson thread of kinship' Henry Parkes, c. 1898 Nelson Illingworth

Portrait, painted terracotta

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2012

King Edward VII, 1910 by George Lambert

Of Kings and men Celebrating 100 years of the Historic Memorials Collection

Previous exhibition, 2011

This display celebrates 100 years of the Historic Memorials Collection and its role in commissioning portraits of parliamentary and judicial figures in Australia.

Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York, May 9, 1901, 1903 by Tom Roberts

Empire records

Magazine article by Kylie Scroope, 2011

Celebrates the centenary of the first national art collection, the Historic Memorials Collection, housed at Australia's Parliament House.

Self portrait, 1645

The considered life

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2010

Andrew Sayers asks whether a portrait can truly be the examination of a life.

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa, c. 1847 an unknown artist

Husbands and Wives Photographic Portraits from 19th Century Australia

Previous exhibition, 2010

'I have just been to my dressing case to take a peep at you.

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
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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.