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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.

Dovima with elephants, evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955 by Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon People

Previous exhibition, 2013

American photographer Richard Avedon produced portrait photographs that defined the twentieth century. Developed in partnership with the Richard Avedon Foundation in New York, the first Australian exhibition of Avedon’s bold portraits reveals the glamour and drama of his iconic artistic work.

Self portrait, c. 1849 Charles Rodius

Elegance in exile Portrait drawings from colonial Australia

Previous exhibition, 2012

Elegance in exile is an exhibition surveying the work of Richard Read senior, Thomas Bock, Thomas Griffiths Wainewright and Charles Rodius: four artists who, though exiled to Australia as convicts, created many of the most significant and elegant portraits of the colonial period.

Richard Morecroft & Alison Mackay, 2016 Gary Grealy

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017

Previous exhibition, 2017

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Sir Richard Branson, 1999 by David Mach (b. 1956)

Best of British Contemporary Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, London

Previous exhibition, 2000

For the first hundred years or so of its existence, The National Portrait Gallery in London had no contemporary collection at all

Self portrait with glove, 1939 Herbert Badham

To Look Within Self Portraits in Australia

Previous exhibition, 2004

This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of self-portraits in Australia, from the colonial period to the present

William Barak at work on a drawing at Coranderrk, 1902 Johannes Heyer

The Reflecting Eye Portraits of Australian Visual Artists

Touring exhibition, 1996

As the first National Portrait Gallery travelling exhibition, The reflecting eye: portraits of Australian visual artists represents an important milestone in the history of Australia's National Portrait Gallery.

Bungaree, late chief of the Broken Bay tribe, Sydney, 1836 William Fernyhough

Heads of the People A Portrait of Colonial Australia

Previous exhibition, 2000

For Tom Roberts - Australia's best nineteenth-century portrait painter - neither a proto-national portrait gallery nor more popular collections of portrait heads, were sufficient public celebrations for the notables of Australian history

Mel Gibson, 1982 William Yang

POL Portrait of a Generation

Previous exhibition, 2003

POL was a magazine that ran from 1969 to 1986

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.

Peter Garrett by Karin Catt

Famous Karin Catt Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2006

Australian photographer Karin Catt has photographed world leaders, a host of rock stars and Oscar-winning compatriots Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, and Cate Blanchett.

William Dobell, 1942 Max Dupain

A Tribute to William Dobell

Previous exhibition, 1999

Adapted from A Tribute to William Dobell an exhibition presented by the Australian National University's Drill Hall Gallery in association with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, The National Gallery of Australia, and the Australian War Memorial. Dobell is of course, celebrated for his achievements in portraiture, winning the Archibald prize (1943, 1948 and 1959), the Wynne Prize (1948), and representing Australia at the 1954 Venice Biennale. Curator Mary Eagle concludes her essay in the catalogue of the exhibition thus, "Overall I see a dissonance in Dobell’s art and life

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm, 1961 William Dargie

Uncommon Australians Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery

Previous exhibition, 1992

In 1988 philanthropists Gordon and Marilyn Darling decided to make an Australian portrait gallery a reality, overseeing the development of the 1992 touring exhibition Uncommon Australians.

Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott

Thousand Mile Stare Portrait photography by John Elliott

Previous exhibition, 2004

Thousand mile stare provides a unique portrait of people of rural Australia

Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill, 2005 Ian Jennings

Australian of the Year Inspiring a Nation

Previous exhibition, 2010

The Australian of the Year Awards have often provoked controversy about who is selected and whether their achievements are remarkable.

Paul Kelly, 2004 Jon Campbell

Face the Music

Previous exhibition, 2005

Australia has become recognised for the range and talent of its musicians, composers, conductors and celebrities in general associated with the music industry

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

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.

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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.