Skip to main content

To help keep our visitors and staff safe, please book your spot before visiting.

Menu

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.

Self portrait

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.

Charles, 2015 video: 7 minutes

Digital Portraiture Award 2016

Previous exhibition, 2016

An annual event to extend traditional notions of portraiture and foster emerging artists with an interest in new technology.

Jack Charles

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012

Previous exhibition, 2012

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Hetti

Beauty and strength

Portraits by Michael Riley
Previous exhibition, 2014

Influential Indigenous Australian artist Michael Riley (1960 - 2004) created these portrait photographs between 1984 and 1990 - they stand as an intricately connected group portrait of the vibrant urban-based Indigenous arts community in Sydney's inner-west at a formative moment.

Copeman, gardener, Great Yarmouth by John Dempsey

Dempsey's people

A folio of British street portraits 1824–1844
Previous exhibition, 2017

Dempsey’s people: a folio of British street portraits 1824–1844 is the first exhibition to showcase the compelling watercolour images of English street people made by the itinerant English painter John Dempsey throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.

Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol

Life and time

Portraits by Rod McNicol
Previous exhibition, 2015

Australian photographer Rod McNicol has consistently analysed the passing of time through the evidence of the photographic portrait. At once confronting and tender, McNicol’s portrait photographs are bold and intimate. 

Tea time, c.1898–1902 by Rupert Bunny (1864–1947)

Impressions

Painting light and life
Previous exhibition, 2011

Impressions: Painting light and life presents portraits by, and of, artists at the heart of Australian impressionism including Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin.

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (detail), 2006 (printed 2020) © Peter Brew-Bevan

Australian Love stories

Family, friends, fanatics and foes (and everything in between!)
Previous exhibition, 2021

Reconnect and reflect with our new major exhibition, Australian Love Stories (in real life!) as we explore love, affection and connection in all its guises.

Decorative portrait – Len Lye, c.1925 by Rayner Hoff (1894-1937)

Presence and Absence

Portrait Sculpture in Australia
Previous exhibition, 2003

This exhibition focuses on exploring national and communal identity through sculptural production in Australia, from the early decades of settlement through to the present day

Albert Namatjira

Sir William Dargie

A Ninetieth Birthday Tribute
Previous exhibition, 2002

As a tribute to Sir William Dargie's singular contribution to Australian art and cultural institutions, and on the occasion of his birthday, The Australian War Memorial, Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery will mount exhibitions of his work between May and October

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm

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.

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.

Sir Ian Potter

Mark Strizic

A Journey in Photography
Previous exhibition, 2004

This exhibition traces the creative output of nearly 50 years by one of Australia's landmark living photographers.

The Bathers, 1989

Hall of Mirrors

Anne Zahalka Portraits 1987-2007
Previous exhibition, 2007

Hall of Mirrors: Anne Zahalka Portraits 1987-2007 explores the thread of portraiture through the artist's prolific career, now spanning more than 20 years.

The rose, 1927

The World of Thea Proctor

Previous exhibition, 2005

The World of Thea Proctor is the Portrait Gallery's second major biographical exhibition - that is, the second exhibition to focus exclusively on the life and work of a single individual

Damien Parer

Mirror With A Memory

Photographic Portraiture in Australia
Previous exhibition, 2000

This is the first major exhibition to examine photographic portraiture in Australia, from its beginnings in the early 1840s to the present day

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa

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.

Bungaree, late chief of the Broken Bay tribe, Sydney

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

William Johnson (1873—1948) by Percy Leason

Recognition

Percy Leason's Aboriginal Portraits
Previous exhibition, 1999

Originally conceived as an anthropological record, Percy Leason’s powerful 1934 portraits of Victorian Aboriginal people are today considered to be a highlight of 20th century Australian portraiture

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.

The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020

Previous exhibition, 2020

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.

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.

Cormac and Callum, 2008 by Ingvar Kenne

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2009

Previous exhibition, 2009

In its second year at the National Portrait Gallery, and for the first time touring to other venues, the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2009 continues to present surprising perspectives on the nature of contemporary portrait photography.

Elle Macpherson

Australian Visit

Previous exhibition, 2006

The exhibition will include works of art from the NPG Canberra's permanent collection with some inward loans and aims to highlight the achievements of notable Australians.

Baz Luhrmann

Glossy 2

Faces, Magazines, Now
Previous exhibition, 2005

Following the success of Glossy: Faces, Magazines, Now in 1999 the National Portrait Gallery again highlights the huge array of contemporary portraiture in the pages of magazines.

Lee Kernaghan near Broken Hill

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.

Margaret Fulton

Masters of Fare

Chefs, winemakers, providores
Previous exhibition, 2004

Masters of fare: chefs, winemakers, providores celebrates men and women who have championed the unique culinary characteristics and produce of Australia, enriching our lives with new ideas and new flavours over the past forty years.

Bob Hawke

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.

Paul Kelly

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

Andy Thomas

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling
Previous exhibition, 2015

This exhibition showcases portraits acquired through the generosity of the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons, L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Marilyn Darling AC.

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

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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 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