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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.

Kangaroos, 2007 by Davida Allen

Davida Allen

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Going around a gallery with a child, we point to a painting of a dog and brightly ask ‘What’s that?’ If they don’t say ‘A dog’, we tell them that’s what it is. We don’t say it’s a shape inscribed by an artist that’s popularly understood to signify a dog. That’d only serve to foster a smarty-pants.

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Dressing for dinner, 1992 Davida Allen

Portrait, oil on plywood

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

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hey Betty (Portrait of Betty Churcher), 1990 Davida Allen

Portrait, oil on plywood

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Peter Allen, 1980 William Yang
Peter Allen, 1980 William Yang
Peter Allen, 1980 William Yang

Peter Allen, 1980 William Yang

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003

Reverend John Allen Manton, President of the Australasian Conference and Governor of Horton College, Tasmania, c. 1855 an unknown artist
Reverend John Allen Manton, President of the Australasian Conference and Governor of Horton College, Tasmania, c. 1855 an unknown artist
Reverend John Allen Manton, President of the Australasian Conference and Governor of Horton College, Tasmania, c. 1855 an unknown artist

Reverend John Allen Manton, President of the Australasian Conference and Governor of Horton College, Tasmania, c. 1855 an unknown artist

Portrait, engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ted and Gina Gregg 2012

Susie Porter, 2000 (printed 2001) Peter Brew-Bevan
Susie Porter, 2000 (printed 2001) Peter Brew-Bevan
Susie Porter, 2000 (printed 2001) Peter Brew-Bevan

Susie Porter, 2000 (printed 2001) Peter Brew-Bevan

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel

The Popular Pet Show

Previous exhibition, 2016

This exhibition expresses the joy and warmth that many of us derive from our animal companions, and celebrates their trusting, unpretentious ways, with portraits of Australians and their furry, feathered and fluffy friends.

Alfred Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist
Alfred Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist
Alfred Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist

Alfred Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2014

Sarah Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist
Sarah Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist
Sarah Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist

Sarah Simpson, c.1866 an unknown artist

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2014

Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel

Pets of all types take over the National Portrait Gallery 3 November 2016

Archived media releases 2016

It is not every day that a national gallery turns its walls over to the animal companions that bring unconditional love and joy to their owners but this summer we have opened the doors to 15 contemporary artists with very different ways of depicting our furry, feathered and scaled pets.

Wendy drunk 11pm, 1983 by Brett Whiteley

Idle Hours

Previous exhibition, 2009

Idle hours is an exhibition of luxurious beauty. Paintings, prints and drawings represent subjects in quiet moods and situations arranged according to the time of day they depict - reading, drawing, snoozing, bathing, sewing, gardening, sitting, looking, making love and spending tranquil time with companions. Works in the exhibition range from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present.

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.