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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.

Howard Arkley 1, 1980, 1980 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney
Howard Arkley 1, 1980, 1980 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney
Howard Arkley 1, 1980, 1980 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney

Howard Arkley 1, 1980, 1980 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney

Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Howard Arkley, 1998 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley
Howard Arkley, 1998 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley
Howard Arkley, 1998 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley

Howard Arkley, 1998 (printed 2010) Bill McAuley

Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

Nick Cave, 1999 Howard Arkley
Nick Cave, 1999 Howard Arkley
Nick Cave, 1999 Howard Arkley

Nick Cave, 1999 Howard Arkley

Portrait, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 1999

John Howard and Janette Howard, 2000 Josonia Palaitis
John Howard and Janette Howard, 2000 Josonia Palaitis
John Howard and Janette Howard, 2000 Josonia Palaitis

John Howard and Janette Howard, 2000 Josonia Palaitis

Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by the Founding Patron, L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2000

Len Howard, Surrey, 1957 (printed 2000) David Moore
Len Howard, Surrey, 1957 (printed 2000) David Moore
Len Howard, Surrey, 1957 (printed 2000) David Moore

Len Howard, Surrey, 1957 (printed 2000) David Moore

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
The series David Moore: From Face to Face was acquired by gift of the artist and financial assistance from Timothy Fairfax AC and L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2001

Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin
Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin
Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin

Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin
Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin
Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin

Howard Taylor, 1988 (printed 2001) John Austin

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

Sir Howard Florey OM KBE FRS FAA, 1985 Andor Meszaros
Sir Howard Florey OM KBE FRS FAA, 1985 Andor Meszaros
Sir Howard Florey OM KBE FRS FAA, 1985 Andor Meszaros

Sir Howard Florey OM KBE FRS FAA, 1985 Andor Meszaros

Portrait, cast bronze medallion on wood plaque

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Ray Marginson AM 2001

Jenny Howard, c. 1930s an unknown artist
Jenny Howard, c. 1930s an unknown artist
Jenny Howard, c. 1930s an unknown artist

Jenny Howard, c. 1930s an unknown artist

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Peter O'Shaughnessy, 1947 Howard Matthews
Peter O'Shaughnessy, 1947 Howard Matthews
Peter O'Shaughnessy, 1947 Howard Matthews

Peter O'Shaughnessy, 1947 Howard Matthews

Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999

Lord Florey, n.d. Louis Kahan
Lord Florey, n.d. Louis Kahan
Lord Florey, n.d. Louis Kahan

Lord Florey, n.d. Louis Kahan

Portrait, pen and ink on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1998

Florence Austral, c. 1930 Howard Barron
Florence Austral, c. 1930 Howard Barron
Florence Austral, c. 1930 Howard Barron

Florence Austral, c. 1930 Howard Barron

Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the University of Newcastle (Australia) 2007

Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party), 1983 Bleddyn Butcher
Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party), 1983 Bleddyn Butcher
Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party), 1983 Bleddyn Butcher

Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party), 1983 Bleddyn Butcher

Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002

Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes

Nick Cave by Howard Arkley

Portrait story

An interview with graffiti artist Marc de Jong about the art of Howard Arkley.

Nick Cave, 1999 Howard Arkley

On commission

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2002

Former NPG Director Andrew Sayers discusses the art of commissioning portraits.

Tresco Rowe, 1965 Judy Cassab
Tresco Rowe, 1965 Judy Cassab
Tresco Rowe, 1965 Judy Cassab

Tresco Rowe, 1965 Judy Cassab

Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Virginia Howard 2016
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

David Williamson, 1974 (printed 2001) Gordon Glenn

The Story So Far...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

A reflection on the National Portrait Gallery's first four years.

Cadel Evans, 2008 Matthys Gerber

Winning in technicolor

Magazine article by Alistair McGhie, 2009

Alistair McGhie writes about the portraits of three of Australia's top professional cyclists: Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen painted by Matthys Gerber.

The Boys Next Door, 1978 Michel Lawrence
The Boys Next Door, 1978 Michel Lawrence
The Boys Next Door, 1978 Michel Lawrence

The Boys Next Door, 1978 Michel Lawrence

Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999

My Favourite Australian

My Favourite Australian

Previous exhibition, 2008

My Favourite Australian is a project developed in collaboration with ABC TV and the people of Australia.

Robert, Lindy, Grant, 1981 Jenny Watson

Face the music

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2005

Drawn from the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Face the Music explores the remarkable talents and achievements of Australian musicians, composers, conductors and celebrities associated with the music industry.

L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen

Portrait of a patron

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

A new painting by Jiawei Shen captures the vision and resolve of the Gallery's founder, L. Gordon Darling AC CMG.

Gordon and Marilyn Darling, 1994 Francis Reiss and June Orford

Honour board

Support your Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges and thanks all its supporters.

Imelda Roche, 2003 Paul Newton
Imelda Roche, 2003 Paul Newton
Imelda Roche, 2003 Paul Newton

Imelda Roche, 2003 Paul Newton

Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned 2003

Sir William Deane 2008 Merilyn Fairskye
Sir William Deane 2008 Merilyn Fairskye
Sir William Deane 2008 Merilyn Fairskye

Sir William Deane 2008, 2008 Merilyn Fairskye

Portrait, Blu-Ray digital video, colour, sound, duration 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner, 2008 Scott Redford

Speed demon

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Scott Redford discusses his dynamic portrait commission of motorcycling champion and 2008 Young Australian of the Year Casey Stoner.

Wan Lan, Xini, Shen Jiawei and Billy, 2010 Greg Weight
Wan Lan, Xini, Shen Jiawei and Billy, 2010 Greg Weight
Wan Lan, Xini, Shen Jiawei and Billy, 2010 Greg Weight

Wan Lan, Xini, Shen Jiawei and Billy, 2010 Greg Weight

Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Basil Hetzel, 2007-08 Mark Kimber
Basil Hetzel, 2007-08 Mark Kimber
Basil Hetzel, 2007-08 Mark Kimber

Basil Hetzel, 2007-08 Mark Kimber

Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Mrs Diana Ramsay AO 2008

Geoff Cousins, 2017 David Naseby
Geoff Cousins, 2017 David Naseby
Geoff Cousins, 2017 David Naseby

Geoff Cousins, 2017 David Naseby

Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Geoff Cousins AM 2007

image not online

New Chief Patron for the National Portrait Gallery 8 March 2016

Archived media releases 2016

Mrs Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO has accepted an invitation to become the new Chief Patron of the National Portrait Gallery. 

The Boys Next Door, 1978 Michel Lawrence

Oz Punk Sends a permanent shiver down my spine

General content

In 1976, without having been blooded on the Sydney or Melbourne pub circuit, The Saints recorded a single – ‘(I’m) Stranded’ – earning them the distinction of releasing a punk single before The Sex Pistols did.

Mal Meninga, 2018 Peter Hudson

Mal Meninga, 2018 by Peter Hudson

General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Maliganis Edwards Johnson and Alan Dodge AM 2018

Equation of a life - a portrait of Professor Derek Denton, 2016 Evert Ploeg
Equation of a life - a portrait of Professor Derek Denton, 2016 Evert Ploeg
Equation of a life - a portrait of Professor Derek Denton, 2016 Evert Ploeg

Equation of a life - a portrait of Professor Derek Denton, 2016 Evert Ploeg

Portrait, oil on linen

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with the assistance of funds provided by Janet Whiting AM, Philip Lukies and Antonia Syme 2016

Johnny O'Keefe "A little bit louder now...", 1999 Ivan Durrant

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

Paul Kelly, 2004 Jon Campbell

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

National Portrait Gallery

History

About us

How the National Portrait Gallery and its unique collection came to be

Abraham Lincoln, 1865

Washington preview

Magazine article by Lauretta Morton, 2005

Ron Ramsey, former Director of Cultural Relations at the Embassy of Australia interviewed NPG Washington Director, Marc Pachter, about their building renovations.

Elle Macpherson, 2000 Polly Borland

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.

Professor Peter Doherty, 2001 Rick Amor

Australia and the Nobel Prize

Previous exhibition, 2003

This unique exhibition will give an insight into the private lives, pursuits and work of all the Nobel laureates associated with Australia

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber

In the National Interest

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

In focussing on the importance of gifts in the building of the collection, prominence must be given to the most spectacular of the National Portrait Gallery's acquisitions; the portrait of Captain James Cook RN by John Webber R.A.

Bob Hawke, 2012 Luke Cornish

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.

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.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN, 1782 John Webber

The Quiet Australian

Magazine article by Brian Dale, 2001

Robert Oatley talks about the repatriation of the John Webber portrait of Captain James Cook.

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.

Nancy Wake - The White Mouse, 2001 Melissa Beowulf

Capturing the Mouse

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2004

Nancy Wake AC (b. 1912), one of the most­ decorated women of World War 2, earned the name the 'White Mouse' for her maddening ability to evade the Gestapo.

Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti & Campbell

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.

Steve Irwin, 2005 Robin Sellick

Crikey!

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

Robin Sellick captured a rare moment of quietude from the late conservation star Steve Irwin.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker

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.

Barry Humphries, 1958 Clifton Pugh

Uncommon Australians The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

General content

Sarah Engledow writes about Gordon and Marilyn Darling and their support for the National Portrait Gallery throughout its evolution.

Barry Gibb, 1970-71 Rennie Ellis

The 1950s to the present day

Mo and beard timeline

Certain European leaders (needless to name) had the effect of making certain styles of facial hair decidedly undesirable in the years immediately after World War 2.

Equation of a life - a portrait of Professor Derek Denton, 2016 Evert Ploeg

Equation of a life – a portrait of Derek Denton 9 September 2016

Archived media releases 2016

The National Portrait Gallery, has welcomed the newest portrait commission of Emeritus Professor Derek Denton AC by Evert Ploeg.

Neil Murray, 2008 Peter Hudson

True fella

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond profiles the Australian songwriter and performer Neil Murray and his contribution to Australian music.

Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan

First Ladies Significant Australian Women 1913–2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

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

Announcing.... In their own words 24 November 2020

Media

Inspiring Australians tell their own stories in a unique new gallery audio tour, developed in collaboration with the National Library of Australia.

Zed, from the series Walking the dog, 2005 by Robyn Sweaney

Robyn Sweaney

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Robyn's parents had two terriers, Wuff and Snuff. In spite of Snuff’s ominous name and a couple of close shaves – once, he jumped out of a moving car, and another time, on a long road trip, he was accidentally left behind at a petrol station – he outlived Wuff.

JK Rowling, 2005

Why do painted portraits still matter?

Magazine article by Sandy Nairne, 2006

Lecture by Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, given at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra on 28 April 2006.

The Honourable Bob Hawke savouring a strawberry milkshake, 2017 by Harold David

The intellectual larrikin

Magazine article by Barrie Cassidy, 2019

Barrie Cassidy pays textured tribute to the inimitable Bob Hawke.

Ma Khin Mar Mar Kyi

My Favourite Australian

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2009

The Australian public was invited in 2008 to vote for their favourite Australian.  After the votes were tallied an exhibition of the top-ten Popular Australians and the top-twenty unsung heroes was displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.

Florence Austral, c. 1930 Howard Barron

Pretty in peach

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008
It's remarkable that the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond has produced two of Australia's most successful opera singers. Three decades apart, but within a short distance of each other, both Helen Porter Mitchell and Florence Wilson were born.
Lucy, 2001

Technical terminology

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age.

Marian Anderson, contralto, New York, June 30, 1955 Richard Avedon

The right note

Magazine article by Leslie Ureña, 2020

Marian Anderson’s glorious voice thrust her into stardom, and a more reluctant role as American civil rights pioneer.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe, 2011 Kristin Headlam

Confessional conversations The portraiture of Kristin Headlam

Magazine article by Fiona Gruber, 2015

Fiona Gruber investigates the work of Australian painter Kristin Headlam.

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.

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

image not online

Portrait Donors Listed by year

Honour board
George Reid paperweight an unknown artist

Some prime ministers

General content

Sarah Engledow explores the history of the prime ministers and artists featured in the exhibition.

Trevor Jamieson, 2016 by Brett Canet-Gibson

The more things change... NPPP 2017 exhibition essay

General content

Dr Sarah Engledow, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2017 Prize.

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.