Skip to main content

To help keep us all safe, please check our conditions of entry related to COVID-19 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.

Peter Sculthorpe

Creative space

Magazine article by Eric Smith, 2004

Eric Smith describes the agony and finally the ecstasy of winning the 1982 Archibald Prize with the portrait of Peter Sculthorpe.

Francis Russell Nixon

Sketches and sermons

Magazine article by Jessica Smith, 2009

Jessica Smith looks at the 'fetching' portrait of Tasmania's first Anglican Bishop, Francis Russell Nixon by George Richmond

Self portrait

Portrait of a Modernist

Magazine article by Dimity Goldie, 2003

The National Portrait Gallery acquired the self-portrait by Grace Cossington Smith in 2003.

Portrait of Henry Vernon Crock AO

Private practice

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008
David Smith portrayed Dr Henry Crock without the accoutrements of an orthopaedic surgeon, adding to the National Portrait Gallery's collection of eminent Australian medical practitioners.
Portrait of Florence Broadhurst

Be bold

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2007

The name of Florence Broadhurst, one of Australia’s most significant wallpaper and textile designers, is now firmly cemented in the canon of Australian art and design.

Self portrait

Modern Australian Women

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2005

Close contemporaries, Thea Proctor, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith were frequently sources of inspiration and irritation to each other. 

Clifton Pugh painting in the studio

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm

The Wonder Years

Magazine article by Sarah Hill, 2001

Sarah Hill introduces the portrait busts of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm by Enid Fleming.

Portrait 50

Spring 2015
Magazine

This issue features Julia Gillard on the late Joan Kirner, Julian Opie’s digital portraiture, Nicholas Harding’s Godot gouaches and more.

Portrait 7

March - May 2003
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Grace Cossington Smith, the Fairfax portrait gift and Lewis Morley's photographs.

Rev. Victor B. Walls and Mrs. Walls, Trinidad, B.W.I., c.1930

The first nurse

Magazine article by Tamsin Hong, 2016

Tamsin Hong recounts the tale of Marion Smith, the only known Australian Indigenous servicewoman of World War One.

Sidney Myer

Four from the 30s

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

Australia's tradition of sculpted portraits stretches back to the early decades of the nineteenth century and continues to sustain a group of dedicated sculptors.

Caroline Pileggi

Ready , set... shoot

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2006

The exhibition Flash: Australian Athletes in Focus offers various interpretations of sporting men and women by five Australian photographers.

Miss Evelyn Chapman, 1918

Lovers of light

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr Sarah Engledow traces the significant links between Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and Evelyn Chapman through their portraits.

Self portrait with gladioli

Courage, Self-analysis and Skill

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2002

The story behind George Lambert's Self-portrait with Gladioli.

John Clarke

Humour’s warm refuge

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2017

Angus Trumble pays tribute to John Clarke.

Margaret Whitlam

Glossy too

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2005

The Glossy 2 exhibition highlights the integral role magazine photography plays in illustrating and shaping our contemporary culture.

Self portrait

In good company

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Jean Appleton’s 1965 self portrait makes a fine addition to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection writes Joanna Gilmour.

Damon, singer, 2000 by Julian Opie

Movement is my radar

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2015

Michael Desmond charts the path of portraiture, arriving at Julian Opie’s digital realm.

The rose, 1927

The world of Thea Proctor

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

The world of Thea Proctor was the National Portrait Gallery's second exhibition to follow the life of a single person, following Rarely Everage: The lives of Barry Humphries.

Self portrait with gladioli

Facing Facts

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

Former NPG Director, Andrew Sayers describes the 1922 Self-portrait with Gladioli by George Lambert.

Ethel Turner

Moving in creative circles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Harold Cazneaux's portraits of influential Sydneysiders included Margaret Preston and Ethel Turner, both important figures in the development of ideas about Australian identity and culture.

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones

Home and away

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Sir William Dobell painted the portraits of Sir Charles Lloyd Jones and Sir Hudson Fysh, who did much to promote the image of Australia in this country and abroad.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

David Campese II

Inspiration + Realisation: John Singer Sargent

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2006

Katherine Russell examines the art of Australian artist Paul Newton, referencing the portraiture of John Singer Sargent.

Self portrait

Sir William Dargie CBE

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2003

Sir William Dargie, painter and eight times winner of the Archibald Prize for portraiture, died in Melbourne on July 26, 2003, aged 91.

Michael Kimmelman

Magazine article by Pamela Gray, 2002

Michael Kimmelman, Chief Art Critic of The New York Times and author of Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere, presented the National Portrait Gallery Third Anniversary Lecture on 2 March 2002. He was generously brought to Australia by the Gordon Darling Foundation and Qantas.

Dr Edward MacMahon, 1959 by William Dobell

Bill and Ted's excellent portrait.

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow on Messrs Dobell and MacMahon and the art of friendship.

James Oswald Fairfax

The Fairfax Gift

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This article examines the portraits gifted to the National Portrait Gallery by Fairfax Holdings in 2003.

Self portrait with gladioli

Money and swat

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2007

Andrew Sayers discusses the real cost of George Lambert's Self portrait with gladioli 1922.

Self-portrait, 1973 by Noel Counihan

Of jumpers and river gums, red

Magazine article by Diana O'Neil, 2016

Diana O’Neil on Noel Counihan’s vivid 1971 portrait of Alan Marshall.

Self portrait

A Singular Line

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2003

A newly acquired work by Stella Bowen adds to the National Portrait Gallery's growing collection of important Australian self-portraits.

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.

Video still from Dream Job, 2011 by David M Thomas

My dream job

Magazine article by David Thomas AM, 2012

Artist David M Thomas lists some of the ideas and influences behind his video portraits.

"Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?", 1956

Pop goes the preconception

Magazine article by Paul Moorhouse, 2007

A National Portrait Gallery, London exhibition redefines portraiture, shifting the focus towards a new perspective on Pop Art.

Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York, May 9, 1901, 1903 by Tom Roberts

Empire records

Magazine article by Kylie Scroope, 2011

Celebrates the centenary of the first national art collection, the Historic Memorials Collection, housed at Australia's Parliament House.

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

Robert, Lindy, Grant

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.

Self portrait

Give me five

Magazine article by Karen Quinlan AM, 2021

National Portrait Gallery director Karen Quinlan AM nominates her quintet of favourites from the collection, with early twentieth-century ‘selfies’ filling the roster.

Andy Thomas

The Final Frontier

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2002

Magda Keaney talks with Montalbetti+Campbell about their photographic portrait of Australian astronaut Andy Thomas.

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.

Sir Frank Packer KBE

Vintage Cassab

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The oil portrait of Sir Frank Packer KBE by Judy Cassab was gifted to the National Portrait Gallery in 2006.

Hardtmuth 'Hottie' Lahm

Hottie's Snifter to port

Magazine article by Peter Jeffrey, 2016

Peter Jeffrey trips the hound nostalgic.

Chance meeting, 1940-41 by Martin Lewis

Nocturnal animals

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2017

Joanna Gilmour explores the enticing urban shadows cast by artists Martin Lewis and Edward Hopper.

Sydney Ure Smith

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett

In the round

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2009

Andrew Sayers outlines the highlights of the National Portrait Gallery's display of portrait sculpture.

A Goldfields Member

Showing character

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour on Tom Durkin playing with Melbourne's manhood.

Cachasunghia, Osage Warrior 1804–06 by Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin

Political profiles

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

Joanna Gilmour examines the prolific output of Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin, and discovers the risk of taking a portrait at face value.

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong)

An actress and her fans

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr. Sarah Engledow discovers the amazing life of Ms. Hilda Spong, little remembered star of the stage, who was captured in a portrait by Tom Roberts.

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

Portrait of a Lady (Sonia McMahon)

Desperately seeking Sonia

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Esther Erlich’s portrait of Lady McMahon.

My father-in-law watering his garden, 1986 by Davida Allen

Lovingly observed

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Sarah Engledow previews the beguiling summer exhibition, Idle hours.

The sisters, 1904

Beguiling impressions

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2012

Sarah Engledow is seduced by the portraits and the connections between the artists and their subjects in the exhibition Impressions: Painting light and life.

Portrait of Mary MacKillop c 1873

The Saint and the merchant

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Emanuel Solomon gave shelter to the Sisters of St Joseph upon the excommunication of St Mary MacKillop.

Studio of the American & Australasian Photographic Co., Hill End, 1872

A rogue's calling card

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2008

Joanna Gilmour explores the stories behind the ninteenth-century carte de visites of bushrangers Frank Gardiner and Fred Lowry.

Victor Trumper

Top shot that

Magazine article by Gideon Haigh, 2009

Gideon Haigh discusses portraits of Australian cricketers from the early 20th century

Waterfall in Australia, c. 1830 by Augustus Earle

Augustus serendipitous

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2016

The London-born son of an American painter, Augustus Earle ended up in Australia by accident in January 1825. 

Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner

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.

Self portrait, 1786 by John Kay

Alternative virtue

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Joanna Gilmour presents John Kay’s portraits of a more infamous side of Edinburgh.

The Window Seat, 1907 by Frances Hodgkins

Kiwi magpie

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2018

Penelope Grist finds inspiration in pioneering New Zealand artist, Frances Hodgkins.

Amy Johnson wearing a woollen suit from the collection of flight clothes designed by Madame Schiaparelli for her solo flight from London to Cape Town, 1938 unknown photographer

Air wear

Magazine article by Esther Agostino, 2015

Aviation carried women’s roles in society to greater heights – fashion followed suit.

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.

Sir Henry Unton

Icons and imagery

Magazine article by Alison Weir, 2011

Alison Weir explores the National Portrait Gallery, London and the BP Portrait Award to find what makes a good painted portrait - past and present.

Mr and Mrs Horace Keats in the

Heartfelt

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

The portrait of Janet and Horace Keats with the spirit of the poet Christopher Brennan is brought to life by artist Dora Toovey.

Sisters, 2015 by André Brönnimann

Adam’s Prize Apples

Magazine article by Pamela Gerrish Nunn, 2016

Pamela Gerrish Nunn explores New Zealand’s premium award for portraiture.

Self portrait

Fine and dandy

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Whether the result of misadventure or misdemeanour, many accomplished artists were transported to Australia where they ultimately left a positive mark on the history of art in this country.

Jessie Street

Worth her salt

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Jerrold Nathan's portrait of Jessie Street shows the elegant side of a many-faceted lady.

Portrait of Elizabeth Gould with a raptor, possibly a red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus), painted in her lifetime Artist unknown

Birds of a feather

Magazine article by Annette Twyman, 2021

Charting a path from cockatiel to finch, Annette Twyman explores her family portraits and stories.

One hundred days at 7pm 2015 by Fiona McMonagle

Self-effacing

Magazine article by Michael Wardell, 2016

Michael Wardell samples the fare in the University of Queensland National Self-portrait Prize.

Charles Summers

The importance of being bearded

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2012

Joanna Gilmour discovers that the beards of the ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills were as epic as their expedition to traverse Australia from south to north.

Self-Portrait, 1981 by Don Bachardy

Drawing inspiration

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2017

Christopher Chapman absorbs the gentle touch of Don Bachardy’s portraiture.

Sidney Nolan, Western Australia

Cultural kaleidoscope

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

The complex connections between four creative Australians; Patrick White, Sidney Nolan, Robert Helpmann and Peter Sculthorpe.

Sir Lawrence Wackett

Starry knight

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Aircraft designer, pilot and entrepreneur, Sir Lawrence Wackett rejoins friends and colleagues on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery.

Mick Jagger, Madonna and Tony Curtis, 1997

The Vanity model

Magazine article by David Friend, 2009

Vanity Fair Editor David Friend describes how the rebirth of the magazine sated our desire for access into the lives of celebrities and set the standard for the new era of portrait photography.

Billy Hughes paperweight

Mugshots

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

A toast to the acquisition of an unconventional new portrait of former Prime Minister, Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

Self portrait, 1954

A sketch for some portraits

Magazine article by Judith Pugh, 2005

Judith Pugh reflects on Clifton Pugh's approach to portrait making.

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.

Patrick Ryan, 1968 by Mark Strizic

The silent partner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

One half of the team that was Eltham Films left scarcely a trace in the written historical record, but survives in a vivid portrait.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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