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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.

Henry "Seaman" Dan, 2009

Nathan Kelly
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

John Gorton, 1997

Nathan Kelly
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002

Mark and Nick Seymour, 1997

Nathan Kelly
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2005

The Bushranger Tragedy (from The Australasian Sketcher, 23 November 1878), 1878

an unknown artist
Portrait, wood engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003

Trent Nathan and Shane Barr, 1995 (printed 2018)

Gary Ede
Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Wayne Williams 2018

Jessie Street, 1929

Jerrold Nathan
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Street family and the Jessie Street National Women's Library 2010

Portrait of Dr John Bradfield, c. 1920-24

Jerrold Nathan
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the family of Dr J J C Bradfield 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

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.

Capture of the Kelly Gang of Australian Bushrangers.- 1. Ruins of Jones's Hotel, Glenrowan where the outlaws were besieged by the Police.- 2. Ned Kelly's Suit of Armour.- 3. Policeman in Bush Costume.- 4. Ned Kelly at Bay.- 5. A Black Tracker.- 6. Ned Kelly in the goal Hospital at Melbourne., 1880

The Graphic
Portrait, wood engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

Ned Kelly and death masks

'Judge a person by their cover'
Portrait story

Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology.

Ned Kelly the Bushranger (from The Australasian Sketcher, 7 August 1880), 1880

an unknown artist
Portrait, wood engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2002

Paul Kelly, 2004

Jon Campbell
Portrait, synthetic polymer and enamel paint on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004

'Les Batteurs de Buisson en Australie - Une balle avait atteint le bandit au genou' Front cover of 'Journal des Voyages', 1884 depicting Ned Kelly, 1884

Castelli, Perrychon
Portrait, wood engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Kelly Dixon, Tent Hill, Qld, 2004

John Elliott
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005

Paul Kelly, 2007

Martin Philbey
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Paul Kelly, 2013

Warwick Thornton
Portrait, digital HD video 8 minutes 54 seconds

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Ian Darling 2013

Michael Kelly, 1998

Rick Amor
Portrait, softground etching on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Kelly in the Guard's Van en route to Beechworth (from The Australasian Sketcher, 17 July 1880), 1880

Tom Carrington, The Australasian Sketcher
Portrait, wood-engraving

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Gail Kelly, 2018

Paul Newton
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Westpac Group and Optus 2018

Ned Kelly, 1880

The Illustrated London News
Portrait, wood engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018

Ned Kelly's armour (from The Australasian Sketcher, 3 July 1880), 1880

Tom Carrington, The Australasian Sketcher
Portrait, wood-engraving

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed

Pop poet

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2013

Dr Anne Sanders previews the works in the new focus exhibition Paul Kelly and The Portraits.

Ned Kelly death mask, date unknown

an unknown artist after Maximilian Kreitmayer
Portrait, cast plaster

Collection: National Portrait Gallery Study Collection, Canberra
Gift of John Molony 2018

Paul Kelly, 2007

Peter Brew-Bevan
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Brew-Bevan 2012

Archbishop Michael Kelly, c. 1924 (cast 2010)

Arthur Murch
Portrait, cast bronze on black granite plinth

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Before Too Long

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

The story behind the creation of the portrait of singer-songwriter Paul Kelly by the artist Jon Campbell.

Good, bad and the ugly

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.

The Kelly Gang (from The Australasian Sketcher, 17 July 1880), 1880

Tom Carrington, The Australasian Sketcher
Portrait, wood-engraving

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed

Paul Kelly

Learning resources

A companion to our 2013 exhibition Paul Kelly & The Portraits. For Year 7 to Year 12 students.

Paul Kelly, 1992 by Wendy McDougall

Paul Kelly and The Portraits media information

18 June 2013
Archived media releases 2013

Paul Kelly & The Portraits presents a multifaceted image of the performer over the course of his career.

The Destruction of the Kelly gang (from The Australasian Sketcher, 17 July 1880), 1880

Tom Carrington, The Australasian Sketcher
Portrait, wood engraving on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Peter Carey in Kelly country, 2000

Bruce Armstrong
Portrait, synthetic polymer paint on board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2001

Gail Kelly, 2018

by Paul Newton
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Westpac Group and Optus 2018

Portrait 45

Winter 2013
Magazine

This issue features Paul Kelly, Rineke Dijkstra, John Brack, the National Photographic Portrait Prize and more.

Archie Roach, 1992 (printed 2010)

Bill McAuley
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

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Portrait 13

September - November 2004
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Nancy Wake, Jon Campbell's portrait of Paul Kelly, George Selth Coppin, Henri Cartier-Bresson and more.

Prison and death in the 19th century

Two iBooks of authentic records
Learning resources

These books include sixteen inmates including Ned Kelly, Captain Moonlite and Frederick Deeming and twelve sketches of the deceased, including several children. For Year 7 – 9 students.

12 Untitled Self Portraits (Set 3), 1990

Mike Parr, John Loane
Portrait, drypoint on 12 sheets of paper, unique state prints on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Sara Kelly 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Jimmy Little, Sydney, 2004

John Elliott
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005

Jimmy Little, Dubbo Reconciliation Group Event, 2000

Mervyn Bishop
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

She saved his life. He showed her painting.

Nearest & Dearest

Leaders, painters, friends

Jimmy Little, 2003

Juno Gemes
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Songman, portrait of Kev Carmody, 2006

Peter Hudson
Portrait, oil on canvas laid on composition board

Courtesy of Kev Carmody, Song Cycles Pty Ltd.

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.

Me Myself I

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2001

Andrew Sayers explores the self-portraits created by Australian artist Sidney Nolan.

Proof

Portraits from The Movement 1978-2003
Previous exhibition, 2003

Portraits from The Movement is the first comprehensive survey of photographs from the Juno Gemes archive, which has supported the Aboriginal struggle for justice in Australia from 1978 to the present day.

Archie Roach, 2008

Peter Hudson
Portrait, oil on canvas laid on composition board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Madame Sibly, Phrenologist and Mesmerist, 1870s

James E. Bray
Portrait, albumen silver carte de visite photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Brian Croser AO, 1998

Kate Gollings
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2001

Nolan Heads

Previous exhibition, 2001

Nolan Heads will focus on the portraiture of one of Australia's most original painters and one of the few to have achieved an international reputation

Peter Carey, 1989 (printed 2002)

Lewis Morley
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Peter Carey, 1989

Lewis Morley
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

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

Sidney Nolan, 1964

Axel Poignant
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003

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.

Mal Meninga, 2018

by Peter Hudson
General content

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

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.

Self Creation

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2006

Former National Portrait Gallery Director, Andrew Sayers recalls meeting iconic Australian artist Sidney Nolan.

 

Yami Lester speaks at Uluru Handback Ceremony, 1985 (printed 2003)

Juno Gemes
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Ruby Hunter, 1996 (printed 2012)

Jacqueline Mitelman
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Waiting for Zipporah (Christine Anu), 2002

Elizabeth Barden
Portrait, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2004

Naomi Watts, 2003 Peter Brew-Bevan
Naomi Watts, 2003 Peter Brew-Bevan
Naomi Watts, 2003 Peter Brew-Bevan

Naomi Watts, 2003

Peter Brew-Bevan
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2004

James Mollison, c. 1973 (printed 2004)

Wesley Stacey
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of James Mollison AO 2004

James Mollison, c. 1973 (printed 2004)

Wesley Stacey
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of James Mollison AO 2004

Mandawuy Yunupingu, 1991 (printed 2011)

Lorrie Graham
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Mandawuy Yunupingu, NT, 2004

John Elliott
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005

Dan Sultan, 2011

Martin Philbey
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Ruth and Peter McMullin 2013

Margaret Fink, 1989

Kerrie Lester
Portrait, oil and hand-stitching with diamantes on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

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.

Rachel Griffiths, 2002 (printed 2004)

Karin Catt
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2005

The Rays, 1970 
Raindance Corporation, Frank Gillette, Michael Shamberg, Paul Ryan

Post digital

Magazine article by Tegan Mcauley, 2015

Tegan McAuley looks at the evolution of video portraiture.

Self portrait, 1988

Sidney Nolan
Portrait, oil on composition board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Hon RL Hunter QC 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

George Barrington, c.1785

Celebrity cutpurse

Magazine article by Grace Carroll, 2010

Grace Carroll discusses the portrait of the late-eighteenth century gentleman pickpocket George Barrington.

Heath Ledger, Prague, 2000 (printed 2009)

Bruce Weber
Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with the assistance of Alan Dodge AM 2009

How to be a boy

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Christopher Chapman profiles Chris Lilley, actor and creator of Angry Boys.

Thousand Mile Stare

Portrait photography by John Elliott
Previous exhibition, 2004

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

Sidney Nolan, Western Australia, 1962 (printed 2000)

David Moore
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
The series 'David Moore: From Face to Face' was acquired as a gift of the artist and with financial assistance from Timothy Fairfax AC and L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2001.

Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite, c.1879 attributed to Charles Nettleton

The Portrait Gallery

General content

Photography played a significant role in the circulation of messages about law and order, and in the creation of sensation and celebrity. 

Paul Grabowsky, 2009

Martin Philbey
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Patrick Corrigan AM 2009

Paul Grabowsky, 2009

Martin Philbey
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Patrick Corrigan AM 2009

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

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

Judge a person by their cover

Death masks and phrenology
General content

Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology, popular in the nineteenth century.

Mark Richards, 1976

John Witzig
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2007

Mick Fanning at Snapper Rock, 2010

Andrew Maccoll
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Sideshow Alley: Infamy, the macabre & the portrait

5 December 2015
Archived media releases 2015

Bushrangers, oddities, true crime and scandal come together in this modern day cabinet of curiosities.

Fans at an Easybeats concert, Sydney Stadium, 1965 Bob King

Oz Origins

A little bit louder now
General content

Australia’s passion for rock ‘n roll was kindled by American and British acts in the 1950s and 60s. The novel genre’s driving, licentious rhythms and voices captured imaginations and libidos, not to mention aspiring young musicians.

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

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.

Lewis Morley

Myself and Eye
Previous exhibition, 2003

Lewis Morley has a great eye for a shot and a sharp ear for a pun

Karen Quinlan AM

Karen Quinlan AM

Biography

Karen Quinlan AM took up her appointment as Director of the National Portrait Gallery in December 2018. Karen commenced her curatorial career in 1994 at National Gallery of Victoria before becoming Curator of Bendigo Art Gallery in 1996, and the Director of Bendigo Art Gallery from 2000 until 2018. Karen was a Professor of Practice and previously Director of the La Trobe Art Institute La Trobe University, a former Trustee of the State Library of Victoria, Board Member and former Chair of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria.

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.

Neil Armfield, 2010

Adam Cullen
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned 2010

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

A handful of sand

Magazine article by Ellen Kent, 2007

Ellen Kent examines the portrait of Vincent Lingiari and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam taken by photographer Mervyn Bishop.

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013
Previous exhibition, 2013

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

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.

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.

Dorothy Porter, 2001-2002

Rick Amor
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Andrea Goldsmith 2011
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Dan the man

Magazine article by India Bednall, 2015

Martin Philbey’s portrait of Dan Sultan.

Protest!

How can we dance when our earth is turning?
General content

Rock’s raw potency made it the ideal medium for fomenting protest. The 1970s, 80s and onwards saw calls for social and environmental justice ring out through song.

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.

Summertime Fun at the National Portrait Gallery

4 January 2019
Archived media releases 2019

Escape the heat this summer and step inside the National Portrait Gallery for an array of family-fun activities. From storytelling and drawing to music and art, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery unveils twenty new portrait commissions to celebrate twenty years

18 October 2018
Archived media releases 2018

The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled twenty new portrait commissions of Australian leaders and individualists as part of its twentieth birthday celebrations in a new exhibition, 20/20: Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions.

String of Pearls

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2001

Andrew Sayers discusses the portrait of Dr Joan Croll AO by the Australian artist John Brack.

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.

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.

Australians in Hollywood

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2003

The exhibition Australians in Hollywood celebrated the achievements of Australians in the highly competitive American film industry.

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.

Head of a Naked Girl, 2000

Every flap, fold and bulge

Magazine article by Starr Figura, 2008
Lucian Freud's unflinching realism is on display in the first solo exhibition of his paintings and etchings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis

Intense identity

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Dr Chistopher Chapman discusses the portrait of Australian author Christos Tsiolkas taken by John Tsiavis.

Helen Nugent, Karen Quinlan and Angus Trumble

Ms Karen Quinlan appointed to lead the NPGA

25 September 2018
Archived media releases 2018

The Board of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Karen Quinlan as its incoming Director.

Getting a head

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2015

Alexandra Roginski gets a feel for phrenology’s fundamentals.

Lesley Harding

Faces of war

Lecture, 14 May 2011
General content

Lesley Harding, Curator, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne explores Albert Tucker’s experience of World War II, his interests in the intersection between psychology and creativity, and their influence on his portrait making.

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.

Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984

The activist A-list

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow examines a number of figures in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery who were pioneers or substantial supporters of the seminal Australian environmental campaigns of the early 1970s and 1980s.

Artist and wife near Arthurs Seat, 1969

Through blue eyes

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2009

Works by Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan bring the desert, the misty seashore and the hot Monaro plains to exhibition Open Air: Portraits in the landscape.

Announcing... Pub Rock

11 August 2020
Media

An exhibition that celebrates the people, places and sounds of Australian pub rock and its enduring impact on the nation’s identity, opens at the National Portrait Gallery on 5 September, 2020.

Alexander Pearce
executed for murder
July 19th 1824

Public hanging

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2008

As a convict Thomas Bock was required to sketch executed murders for science; as a free man, fashionable society portraits.

Jacki Weaver, 2018

by John Tsiavis
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2018

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.

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.

The 1850s to the 1880s

Mo and beard timeline

The restrained and cultivated facial hair fashions evident through the first decades of the 1800s were on the wane by the middle of the century, when hirsute faces became mainstream.

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Portrait Donors

Listed by year
Honour board

Tan Le, 2018

by John Tsiavis
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by the Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation 2018

True fella

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

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

The Writer: Peter Goldsworthy, 2018

by Deidre But-Husaim
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Jillian Broadbent AO and Dr Helen Nugent AO 2018.

Friends and Acquaintances

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Dr. Sarah Engledow discusses a collection of drawings and prints by the Victorian artist Rick Amor acquired in 2005.

First-Class Marksman, 1946 by Sidney Nolan

Money for Myth

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2015

Australian character on the market by Jane Raffan.

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.

Untitled, 2011 © Kelly Tunney

Something old, something new

Magazine article by Andrew Mayo, 2017

Andrew Mayo considers the changing face of modern wedding photography through the eyes of two of its finest exponents, Dan O’Day and Kelly Tunney.

Self Portrait in red shirt, 1937 by Arthur Boyd

Arthur as Alyosha?

Magazine article by Patrick McCaughey, 2015

Patrick McCaughey explores a striking Boyd self portrait.

Naked nostalgia

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist reminisces about the halcyon days of a print icon, before the infusion of the internet’s shades of grey.

Spring exhibition program

18 August 2020
Media

The following on-line and physical exhibitions are planned to open at the National Portrait Gallery in coming months. For those who can’t travel at present, selected works from all exhibitions will be included online

Clay, water, fire

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2005

Ah Xian's porcelain portrait of paediatrician Dr. John Yu reflects Yu's heritage and interests.

Writing on the Wall, 2019 Dr Christian Thompson AO

To arrive at hope

NPPP 2020 exhibition essay
General content

Penelope Grist, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2020 Prize.

Australia’s great internationalists

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist explores the United Nations stories in the Gallery’s collection.

Beautiful bones

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Sarah Engledow reflects on the shared life and writing of Dorothy Porter and Andrea Goldsmith.

In the Lounge, 2006 by North Sullivan

Seduce, Amuse, Entertain

NPPP 2007 exhibition essay
General content

Michael Desmond, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2007 Prize.

The hunting lodge, 2007

Seduce Amuse Entertain

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond profiles a handful of the entrants in first National Photographic Portrait Prize and notes emerging themes and categories.

Rick Amor: 21 Portraits

General content

Sarah Engledow chronicles Rick Amor's work and accomplishments in this extensive essay in conjunction with the exhibition Rick Amor: 21 Portraits.

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.

Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence

The play’s the thing

About Face article

Penelope Grist charts an immersive path through Stuart Spence’s photography.

Painting writing

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the portraits of writers held in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

Peter Wilmoth, age 12, with copies of Our World 1974 Courtesy of the author

Paper, boy

Magazine article by Peter Wilmoth, 2016

Peter Wilmoth’s boy-journalist toolkit for antagonising an Australian political giant.

Daniel Johns, Silverchair Melbourne 2007 by Martin Philbey

Rock art

Magazine article by Andrew Mayo, 2016

Andrew Mayo talks to three of Australia’s most prominent and prolific music photographers — Martin Philbey, Kane Hibberd and Daniel Boud — about the challenges and inspiration behind their craft.

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.

National Portrait Gallery

History

About us

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

Lauded legacy

Magazine article by Karl James, 2015

Karl James gives short shrift to doubts about the profile of General Sir John Monash.

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.

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.

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.

The Art Lovers - Megan, 2013 by Gary Grealy

Everybody, look serious

NPPP 2014 exhibition essay
General content

Dr Sarah Engledow, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2014 Prize.

© 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 both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency