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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.

Video still from Dream Job, 2011 by David M Thomas

David M Thomas

Dream Job
Previous exhibition, 2011

Since 1993 Brisbane-based artist David M Thomas has investigated self identity through art works that encompass painting, text, audio, video and performance.

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.

Inner Worlds

Portraits and Psychology
Previous exhibition, 2011

Portraits of Australia’s pioneering psychologists and artworks by artists fascinated by the subconscious mind.

Divide (Self portrait)

Dissections

Layered portraits from the collection
Previous exhibition, 2016

This display sets two impressive portraits from the collection into direct dialogue: Sam Jinks’ sculptural self portrait and Nick Mourtzakis’ painted portrait of David Chalmers, along with related maquette and sketches.Together they explore physical and psychological manifestations of the strata of self-hood.

Leonard French, Heathcote, Victoria

From Face to Face

Portraits by David Moore
Previous exhibition, 2000

Through David Moore's camera we meet many of the outstanding figures of the twentieth century - in diverse areas of achievement - as well as anonymous faces which speak directly to us in these photographs.

Elizabeth

Darling Portrait Prize

Previous exhibition, 2020

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

Jessica Mauboy, 2018 David Rosetzky

Before hand

The private life of a portrait
Previous exhibition, 2020

Revealing the backstories behind the NPG collection, Before hand features interviews with artists and sitters as well as working drawings, scrapbooks, sketches and footage taken in artists’ studios and out on location.

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

David Campese II

Sporting Archibald

Previous exhibition, 2000
Celebrating the focus on sport during 2000, this special exhibition features our national sporting heroes and heroines immortalised on canvas
Dame Edna Everage

Bare

Degrees of undress
Previous exhibition, 2015

Bare: Degrees of undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. 

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016

Previous exhibition, 2016

The National Photographic Portrait Prize 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.

Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018

Previous exhibition, 2018

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.

Miranda Otto

Eye to eye

Previous exhibition, 2019

Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze.

Alec Hope

A D Hope and his circle

Previous exhibition, 2007

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of poet Alec Derwent Hope AC OBE (1907-2000), the National Portrait Gallery exhibited a selection from its many portraits of Australian poets and authors.

On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis At 21

Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer
Previous exhibition, 2013

Elvis at 21 is a photographic exhibition capturing Elvis’ rise to fame in the year 1956, before security and money built walls between him and his fans.

Matthew Martin, 2013 by Andrew Cowen

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014

Previous exhibition, 2014

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.

Peter Sculthorpe

Peter Sculthorpe

A Celebration
Previous exhibition, 2009

To celebrate Peter Sculthorpe's 80th birthday, the National Portrait Gallery has created a feature exhibition of portraits and associated biographic material drawn from the National Portrait Gallery and the composer’s personal collection.

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.

Self portrait

Who are you

Australian portraiture
Upcoming exhibition

Featuring more than two-hundred works by Australian artists, the exhibition explores our inner worlds and outer selves, as well as issues of sociability, intimacy, isolation, celebrity and ordinariness.

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980

White Whiteley

The portrait of Patrick White by Brett Whiteley
Previous exhibition, 2012

Eleven works by Brett Whiteley, centred around his scintillating 'Patrick White at Centennial Park 1979-1980'.

Self portrait

Mysterious eyes

Arthur Boyd portraits from 1945
Previous exhibition, 2016

Boyd’s self-portrait at age 25 is joined by his equally emotive portraits of those around him.

Professor Peter Doherty

Rick Amor

21 Portraits
Previous exhibition, 2014

Rick Amor, noblest yet most unaffected of contemporary Australian portraitists, is also a painter of enigmatic, ominous landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes that haunt the viewer like dreams, dimly-recalled.

Layne Beachley

Collection: Icons

Volume One
Previous exhibition, 2018

When a portrait communicates determination and individuality as boldly as these do, it has the potential to become an iconic image. For the Gallery’s 20th birthday this display brings together a group contemporary photographic portraits of inspiring women and men.

Prince William of Wales, by Mario Testino, 2003 publ. September 2003.
Credit: Mario Testino

Vanity Fair Portraits

Photographs 1913-2008
Previous exhibition, 2009

Vanity Fair Portraits traces the birth and evolution of photographic portraiture through the archives of Vanity Fair magazine.

Akira Isogawa

Peter Brew-Bevan Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2005

In this exhibition Sydney based photographer Peter Brew-Bevan brings together an intimate collection of works that highlight his passion for the genre of portraiture over the last 10 years

Margaret Whitlam

Open Air

Portraits in the Landscape
Previous exhibition, 2008

Open Air is an exhibition of portraits of Australians in environments of particular significance to them.

Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940
	 by Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton

Portraits
Previous exhibition, 2005

Accomplished illustrator, painter, writer and diarist, set designer and one of the most distinguished photographers of the twentieth century, Cecil Beaton is renowned for his portraits of well known faces from the worlds of fashion, literature, and film.

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.

Norman Lindsay

Max Dupain

The Vintage Years
Previous exhibition, 2003

During his long and distinguished career Max Dupain took thousands of photographs of people

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.

Cate Blanchett

Australians in Hollywood

Previous exhibition, 2003

Although perceived to be a recent phenomenon, the 'Aussie invasion' of Hollywood can actually be traced as far back as the early 1900s

The Last Picture Show (Lewis Morley and Henry Talbot)

Reveries

Photography and mortality
Previous exhibition, 2007

Featuring works by Australian and New Zealand photographers from the late 1970s up to the present day Reveries focuses on images made in the presence of or consciousness of death.

Betty Burstall

Arthur Boyd Portraits

Previous exhibition, 1999

This is the first in a series of National Portrait Gallery exhibitions to survey the portraits painted by artists who are not thought of, primarily, as portrait painters

Barry Humphries

Clifton Pugh

Australians
Previous exhibition, 2005

This exhibition offers a comprehensive display of Clifton Pugh's portraits revealing his development and growth from tonal paintings to a unique style that was in demand from politicians, artists, academics and Australian personalities.

Rosaleen Norton, Witch of Kings Cross

Rennie Ellis

Aussies All
Previous exhibition, 2006

Rennie Ellis: Aussies All is a celebration of the life and work of the late Australian photographer Rennie Ellis.

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

John Farnham

Glossy - Faces Magazines Now

Previous exhibition, 1999

Magazines are the portrait galleries of the 90s... Glossy is about magazines. The exhibition presents the work of eight photographers, Australian by birth or long-term residency, who are producing portraits for publication in magazines around the world.

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.

Hugo at home (Hugo Weaving)

Nicholas Harding

28 Portraits
Previous exhibition, 2017

Nicholas Harding: 28 portraits features paintings of Robert Drewe, John Bell and Hugo Weaving alongside gorgeously coloured recent oil portraits, delicate gouaches and bold ink and charcoal drawings.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW

Thousand Mile Stare

Portrait photography by John Elliott
Previous exhibition, 2004

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

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.

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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.

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