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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.

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Michael Desmond

Biography

Michael Desmond worked at the National Portrait Gallery first as Senior Curator from 2006 to 2011 then as Deputy Director until 2012.

The Gladiators (Norm Provan and Arthur Summons), 1963 (printed 1970s) John O'Gready

Who's that?

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond discusses the iconic picture of two Rugby League players which became known as 'The Gladiators'.

Study for self-portrait, 1963

Inside outside

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond explores the portraiture of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.

In the Lounge, 2006 by North Sullivan

Seduce, Amuse, Entertain NPPP 2007 exhibition essay

General content

Michael Desmond, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2007 Prize.

The hunting lodge, 2007

Seduce Amuse Entertain

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond profiles a handful of the entrants in first National Photographic Portrait Prize and notes emerging themes and categories.

Lauren in Red, 2003

Is the truth of portraiture vested exclusively in likeness?

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

Curator Michael Desmond introduces the exhibition Truth and Likeness, an investigation of the importance of likeness to portraiture.

Facing Australia, Composite portrait: Facing St Lucia, 2003

Conflicting images

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2008

Michael Desmond reveals the origins of composite portraits and their evolution in the pursuit of the ideal.

Vanity Fair, April, 2004

International issue

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond looks at the history of the Vanity Fair magazine in conjunction with the exhibition Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008

Aung San Suu, 2009 by Shepard Fairey

OBEY Shepard Fairey Posters

Previous exhibition, 2009

Shepard Fairey is best known for his iconic poster Obama/Hope which he made in support of Barack Obama for the 2008 US election.

Damon, singer, 2000 by Julian Opie

Movement is my radar

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2015

Michael Desmond charts the path of portraiture, arriving at Julian Opie’s digital realm.

Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to the Rev. John Gower, 1851

Essential portraiture

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond in conversation with University of Houston professor of philosophy Cynthia Freeland.

Lucy, 2001

Technical terminology

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age.

Lucy, 2001

Present Tense An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age

Previous exhibition, 2010

Technology has been a major influence on art since the invention of the camera, particularly in the field of portraiture.

Lindy Lee - Birth and Death, 2006 by Robert Scott-Mitchell

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2007

Previous exhibition, 2007

Photography is the most pervasive and popular medium for portraiture and makes a natural fit with the Gallery, being a natural extension of the Gallery's longstanding commitment to photography as a contemporary portrait medium.

Dr Peter Farrell, 2001 Salvatore Zofrea OAM

Giving and getting

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

The exhibition Portraits for Posterity celebrates gifts to the Gallery, of purchases made with donated funds, and testifies to the generosity and community spirit of Australians.

Elizabeth (Murray) 2000

Extremely generous and incredibly close

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond examines the daguerreotype portraits created by American artist Chuck Close.

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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 both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.