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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.

Nancy Bird Walton

Nancy Bird Walton part one

In their own words
In their own words

Recorded 1977

Nancy Bird Walton - Pioneer

Nancy Bird Walton part two

In their own words
In their own words

Recorded 1977

Ada Bird Petyarre
Ada Bird Petyarre
Ada Bird Petyarre

Ada Bird Petyarre, 1990

Anne Zahalka
Portrait, type C Duraflex print on paper

Gift of Leo Christie 2003. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Nancy Bird Walton
Nancy Bird Walton
Nancy Bird Walton

Nancy Bird Walton, c. 1973

Judy Cassab AO CBE
Portrait, oil on canvas

Gift of Nancy Bird Walton AO OBE 2008. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Nancy Bird Walton - Pioneer
Nancy Bird Walton - Pioneer
Nancy Bird Walton - Pioneer

Nancy Bird Walton - Pioneer, 2003

Danelle Bergstrom
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004

Nancy Bird Walton, c. 1938

The aviatrix

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour explores the extraordinary life of Australian female aviator Nancy Bird Walton AO OBE

The Memoirs of George Barrington
The Memoirs of George Barrington
The Memoirs of George Barrington

The Memoirs of George Barrington, 1790

an unknown artist, J. Bird & Simmonds
Portrait, octavo in fours, with an engraved frontispiece

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Ross A Field 2008

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Sydney 1891 from Australasia Illustrated
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Sydney 1891 from Australasia Illustrated
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Sydney 1891 from Australasia Illustrated

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Sydney 1891 from Australasia Illustrated, 1891

an unknown artist
Portrait, engraving on paper (4 sheets)

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009

Layne Beachley

Everybody's heard about the bird

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Two professionals; Australian surfer Layne Beachley and photographer Petrina Hicks, combine their strengths to achieve a remarkable portrait.

Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill)
Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill)
Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill)

Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill), 1982

Paul Worstead
Portrait, screenprint on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001

Portrait 32

June - August 2009
Magazine

This issue features Vanity Fair, Nancy Bird Walton, William Barak, Sidney Kidman, Benjamin Duterrau's portraits of the Indigenous peoples of Tasmania, and more.

Commander Skyring, Gang-gang cockatoo by Leila Jeffreys

A real tweet

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow plays wingman to Leila Jeffreys.

Smalltown Boy (Surfers Paradise)
Smalltown Boy (Surfers Paradise)
Smalltown Boy (Surfers Paradise)

Smalltown Boy (Surfers Paradise), 2018

The Huxleys
Portrait, giclee print on paper

Purchased 2021

Smalltown Boy (Perth)
Smalltown Boy (Perth)
Smalltown Boy (Perth)

Smalltown Boy (Perth), 2018

The Huxleys
Portrait, giclee print on paper

Purchased 2021

Art Handlers' Award 2016

General content

The winner of our Art Handlers' Award receives $1000 and free return transport for their photograph, courtesy of International Art Services.

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

Self portrait, 1846

George French Angas
Portrait, lithograph on paper

Purchased 1999

Gaby Kennard
Gaby Kennard
Gaby Kennard

Gaby Kennard, 2020

Lisa Tomasetti
Portrait, archival pigment print on paper

Purchased with funds provided by Joan Connery OAM 2020

Sarah Engledow and Acorn, 2016 by Mark Mohell

Explore The Popular Pet Show

The artists and their furry friends
General content

Curator, Sarah Engledow, introduces the artists and the animals in The Popular Pet Show.

Escape, 2006 by Eddy Collett

Headspace 7

Me and My Place
Previous exhibition, 2006

Headspace 7: Me and My Place, the seventh in the National Portrait Gallery's series of student exhibitions, will be presented at Commonwealth Place. Me and My Place is the curatorial theme for the 2006 exhibition.

Sir Frank Packer KBE

Judy Cassab

The artist's diary
Previous exhibition, 2013

The artist's diary profiles six decades of Cassab's work, from the early portrait commissions of the 1950s to later paintings that have helped confirm her eminent place in the canon of Australian portraiture.

Geoff Cousins
Geoff Cousins
Geoff Cousins

Geoff Cousins, 2017

David Naseby
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Geoff Cousins AM 2007

Nambin (black headed python), 2018 by Shirley Purdie

Skin names

General content

The first row of paintings depict stories relating to kinship, introducing significant women relatives.

Jacki Weaver
Jacki Weaver
Jacki Weaver

Jacki Weaver, 2018

John Tsiavis
Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2018

Elle Macpherson, 1995 photographed by Andrew Macpherson

Women in Vogue: Celebrating Sixty years in Australia

20 May 2019
Archived media releases 2019

Celebrating sixty years of Australia’s most exceptional women as they appeared in Vogue Australia, the National Portrait Gallery is proud to announce an exhibition in collaboration with this pre-eminent fashion title.

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.

Jessie Street

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013
Previous exhibition, 2013

First Ladies profiles women who have achieved noteworthy firsts over the past 100 years.

The National Portrait Gallery building in twilight

On a human scale

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2006

The design concepts behind the new National Portrait Gallery building in Canberra.

Marilyn Ball, Albatross, 2018 (detail) by Linde Ivimey

So Fine

Contemporary women artists make Australian history
Previous exhibition, 2018

This exhibition features new works from ten women artists reinterpreting and reimagining elements of Australian history, enriching the contemporary narrative around Australia’s history and biography, reflecting the tradition of storytelling in our country.

Jacki Weaver

Jacki Weaver, 2018

by John Tsiavis
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2018

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize
Current exhibition

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.

Self portrait with glove

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

Ned Kelly death mask

Sideshow Alley

Infamy, the macabre & the portrait
Previous exhibition, 2015

Death masks, post-mortem drawings and other spooky and disquieting portraits... Come and see how portraits of infamous Australians were used in the 19th century.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester

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.

Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill)

Electric!

Portraits that pop!
Previous exhibition, 2018

Celebrate the Gallery’s 20th birthday summer with Electric! Portraits that pop! The collection exhibition features a mix of bright, bold and colourful paintings, prints and photographs, and buoyant video portraits.

James Ford, 1979 by Robert Mapplethorpe

Apollo's breath

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman delights in the intimacy of Robert Mapplethorpe's photography

Barbara Blackman

Life class

Magazine article by Leonie Hellmers, 2004

Barbara Blackman reflects on her experiences as a life model.

Cathy Freeman, 1994

Depth of Field

Magazine article by Lauren Dalla, 2004

The exhibition Depth of Field displays a selection of portrait photographs that reflect the strength and diversity of Australian achievement.

[Self-portrait], 1996

Reveries

Magazine article by Helen Ennis, 2007

The exhibition Reveries: Photography and mortality is a powerful display which brings together images that depict the last phase of people's lives.

Night Owl, 2013 by Fiona McMonagle
Private Collection, NSW

Fiona McMonagle

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Fiona aims to create a dangerous situation with a flood of water on the paper, forcing each work to the point where it can fail, and then rescuing it. 

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

NPPP 2016 exhibition essay

General content

Penny Grist, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2016 Prize.

The National Portrait Gallery

In the galleries

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Christopher Chapman highlights the inaugural hang of the new National Portrait Gallery building which opened in December 2008.

Self portrait with Spots and Veins

Mental as everything

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2006

Chris O'Doherty, also known as Reg Mombassa, is best-known for his Mambo imagery but he also paints a lot of self portraits.

A surface against which we can move, 2014 by Sam Leach

No small wonder

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Joanna Gilmour describes how artist Sam Leach works on a small scale to grand effect.

Self Portrait with Stetson, 2011 by Darren McDonald

Painting them gently

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

Penny Grist on motivation, method and melancholy in the portraiture of Darren McDonald.

Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Marquis de Vaudreuil, ca.1753-55

Canadian identities

Magazine article by Lilly Koltun, 2004

An exploration of national identity in the Canadian context drawn from the symposium Face to Face at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2004.

Portrait of Thea Proctor, 1905 by George Lambert

The real Thea

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

Long after the portraitist became indifferent to her, and died, a beguiling portrait hung over its subject.

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980

Listomania

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Sarah Engledow describes the fall-out once Brett Whiteley stuck Patrick White’s list of his loves and hates onto his great portrait of the writer.

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown

Study in scarlet

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2018

Angus Trumble reflects on the force of nature that was Helena Rubinstein.

image not online

Portrait Donors

Listed by year
Honour board
Mr John Eason

The shipwright's arms

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and times of convict-turned-artist William Buelow Gould.

Helen Blaxland judging flower arrangements, c. 1940s photographer unknown

Petal to the mettle

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow lauds the very civil service of Dame Helen Blaxland.

Dr Anne Sanders

Less than six degrees of separation

Lecture, 28 May 2011
General content

Dr Anne Sanders NPG Curatorial Researcher investigated the lives of the pioneering psychologists whose portraits are featured in Inner Worlds.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency