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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.

Behind your eyes, between your ears

Brainwave interactive artwork by George Khut
Previous exhibition, 2016

As the subject changes the quality of their attention and mental focus, the portrait transforms, both appearance and sound.

Self Portrait with fruit, 2004

George Foxhill

Self Portraits
Previous exhibition, 2006

Foxhill's portraits are more concerned with describing an emotional and psychological state than the surface topography of the human face.

Milton Glaser Art is Work

Sam Haskins

Portraits & Other Stories
Previous exhibition, 2006

Haskins is known for his poetic combinations of images and this exhibition of 'extended' portraits builds on this approach.

Richard Morecroft & Alison Mackay

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.

Angela Belgiorno-Zegna, 2001 by Salvatore Zofrea

Intimate Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2002

Intimate Portraits is an exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints that explore the less public side of portraiture

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize
Previous exhibition, 2021

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.

© Shirley Purdie/Copyright Agency, 2020

Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

Shirley Purdie
Previous exhibition, 2020

Using ochres collected on her country in Western Australia’s East Kimberley, Shirley Purdie’s self-portrait is a kaleidoscope of traditional Gija stories and Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) passed down to her.

Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang

William Yang

Australian Chinese
Previous exhibition, 2001

William Yang's art is about the telling of stories, his work is an intriguing mixture of philosophy, autobiography, social history and documentary imbued with a sense of the artist's own curiosity, humanity and humour

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'.

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.

Silent Strength, 2021 Wayne Quilliam

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2022

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.

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

Autumn evenings golden glow, c.1942 by Hilda Rix Nicholas

Paris to Monaro

Pleasures from the studio of Hilda Rix Nicholas
Previous exhibition, 2013

After successfully exploring the art scenes of London, France and Morocco, Hilda Rix Nicholas settled at Knockalong, a property near Delegate, on the Monaro plain in the 1920s.

Yousuf Karsh by George O'Neill

Karsh

Faces of the Twentieth Century
Previous exhibition, 1998

Yousuf Karsh - the most famous portrait photographer in the world - has photographed the statesmen, artists, literary and scientific figures who have defined the 20th century and shaped our lives, In this, his 90th year, the National Portrait Gallery is thrilled to present an exhibition of Karsh's photography of 20th century figures.

King Edward VII, 1910 by George Lambert

Of Kings and men

Celebrating 100 years of the Historic Memorials Collection
Previous exhibition, 2011

This display celebrates 100 years of the Historic Memorials Collection and its role in commissioning portraits of parliamentary and judicial figures in Australia.

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

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.

True Stories - Helen Garner

Jenny Sages

Paths to Portraiture
Previous exhibition, 2010

The exhibition Sages examines the process of portrait making through four large-scale portraits of women by Jenny Sages, paired with intimate preparatory drawings.

masculine/feminine, 2010 by Bridget Mac
NYSPP 2010 winner

National Youth Self Portrait Prize

NYSPP 2010
Previous exhibition, 2010

An annual event, the National Youth Self Portrait Prize seeks to encourage young people to embrace self portraiture and its expressive possibilities.

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.

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

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

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

Jimmy Barnes at The Coogee Bay Hotel 1984 (detail) Grant Matthews

Pub Rock

Your backstage pass to 70s and 80s sounds and scenes
Previous exhibition, 2020

Celebrate the people, places and sounds of Australian pub rock and its enduring impact on our nation’s identity.

Lee Lin Chin

Icons

Parliament House
Touring exhibition, 2019

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.

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.

Marcia Langton

Collection in focus: Brook Andrew

Previous exhibition, 2017

Experience the artistic clout of Brook Andrew’s portraits of Marcia Langton AM and Anthony Mundine.

Annette Kellerman

Indecent exposure

Annette Kellerman
Previous exhibition, 2011

'Diving Venus' and 'the perfect woman' are two of the numerous descriptions applied to Annette Kellerman, who achieved international fame during the early decades of the twentieth century.

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
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, 1970 by Matthew Perceval

Portrait Paintings by Matthew Perceval

Previous exhibition, 2007

From 1967 until 1981 Matthew Perceval lived and painted in France and during those years produced a large body of portrait paintings.

Hugh, 2009 by Hugh Marchant

National Youth Self Portrait Prize

NYSPP 2009
Previous exhibition, 2009

An annual event, the National Youth Self Portrait Prize seeks to encourage young people to embrace self portraiture and its expressive possibilities.

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.

Paul Kelly, 1992 by Wendy McDougall

Paul Kelly and The Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2013

Aspects of singer songwriter Paul Kelly’s performance persona are communicated by portraits selected from a range of artists and leading music photographers in this focus exhibition.

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.

Aung San Suu, 2009 by Shepard Fairey

OBEY

Shepard Fairey Posters
Previous exhibition, 2009

Shepard Fairey is best known for his iconic poster Obama/Hope which he made in support of Barack Obama for the 2008 US election.

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.

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

Ian Thorpe

Collection: Icons

Volume Two
Previous exhibition, 2018

The second instalment of a display featuring bold contemporary portraits drawn from the collection. For the Gallery’s 20th birthday this display brings together a group contemporary photographic portraits of inspiring women and men.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Norman Lindsay

Max Dupain

The Vintage Years
Previous exhibition, 2003

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

Shane Warne

Flash

Australian Athletes in Focus
Previous exhibition, 2006

Introduction The National Portrait Gallery’s photographic exhibition Flash: Australian Athletes in Focus explores various interpretations of Australian sporting men and women.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Johnny O'Keefe

Making Portraits

Five Years of National Portrait Gallery Commissions
Previous exhibition, 2004

The considered matching of artist to subject has produced an amazing collection of unique and original works in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery

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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