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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.

Nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground

Seduce and Destroy

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2001

Magda Keaney explores the symbolism in eX de Medici's portrait of Midnight Oil.

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.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark

Inspiration + Realisation: Peter Wegner

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2006

Peter Wegner's approach to portraiture could be considered a visual record of the rapport, the dynamic space between artist and subject.

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.

Hardtmuth 'Hottie' Lahm

Hottie's Snifter to port

Magazine article by Peter Jeffrey, 2016

Peter Jeffrey trips the hound nostalgic.

Les Murray

Poets' Portraits

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

The Portrait Gallery's paintings of two poets, Les Murray and Peter Porter, demonstrate two very different artists' responses to the challenge of representing more than usually sensitive and imaginative men.

Rock Island Bend. Franklin River, South West Tasmania, 1979 by Peter Dombrovskis

Written in Water

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis, photographers and conservationists, shared a love of photography and exploring wilderness areas of Tasmania.

Professor Peter Doherty

A Meeting of Great Minds

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The story behind Rick Amor's portrait of Professor Peter Doherty.

General Cosgrove, Dili, East Timor 1999

On active service

Magazine article by Sam Bowker, 2007

The National Portrait Gallery has acquired an evocative depiction of soldier Peter Cosgrove by the Victorian-based painter, printmaker and sculptor Rick Amor.

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.

The Writer, Peter Goldsworthy

Off grid

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2019

Aimee Board ventures within and beyond to consider two remarkable new Gallery acquisitions.

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.

Dame Mary Gilmore

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.

Portrait 12

June - August 2004
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features Peter Brew-Bevan, daguerreotypes, the exhibition Depth of Field, Ern McQuillan's photographs of sportspeople and more.

Portrait 23

March - May 2007
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features the Reveries: On Photography and Mortality exhibition, Peter Cosgrove, Martin Sharp, Terence Tao and more.

Portrait 16

June - August 2005
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features portraits by Rick Amor, colonial charicatures, Les Murray, Peter Porter, Helen Garner and more.

Portrait 17

September - November 2005
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features conservationists Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis, Michael Leunig, legendary photographer Cecil Beaton and more.

Portrait 4

June - August 2002
Magazine

This issue of Portrait Magazine features articles on Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, George Lambert's self-portrait, Professor Peter Doherty, the man behind the Dr. Who theme, and more.

Naomi Watts

In Sync

Magazine article by Peter Brew-Bevan, 2004

Peter Brew-Bevan discusses two experiences where his plans for his portraits produced surprising results.

David Williamson

The Story So Far...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

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

Portrait 63

Winter 2019
Magazine

Rod McNicol's method and motivation, 19th century Indigenous peoples, Barrie Cassidy on Bob Hawke, five generations of the Kang family from Korea and more.

John Coburn

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

Pat Corrigan's generous gift of 100 photographic portraits by Greg Weight.

Scott Redford: Introducing
Reinhardt Dammn

Surfer artist rockstar

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Christopher Chapman talks with Scott Redford about his character Reinhardt Dammn.

Bob Ellis

Tribute

Bob Ellis
Magazine article, 2016

Bob Ellis (1942–2016) was a journalist, columnist, screenwriter, film director, playwright, speechwriter and critic.

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.

Portrait bust of Dr Christine Rivett

A gift for all ages

Magazine article by Rod Kemp, 2003

The then Minister for the Arts and Sport, Rod Kemp, reflects on the value of the Cultural Gifts Program.

Video still from Dream Job, 2011 by David M Thomas

My dream job

Magazine article by David Thomas, 2012

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

Self Portrait with Stetson, 2011 by Darren McDonald

Painting them gently

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

Penny Grist on motivation, method and melancholy in the portraiture of Darren McDonald.

Robyn Archer, 2010

Real close

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2012

Peter Ciemitis breached regulations when creating the portrait of the polymath environmental scientist George Seddon.

Camouflage self portrait, 1986

Hide/Seek

Magazine article by David Ward, 2010

David Ward writes about the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture on display at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington.

Nicole Kidman

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.

Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

The spirit of the gift

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

Former NPG Director, Andrew Sayers celebrates the support given to the Gallery by Gordon and Marilyn Darling.

Creator versus character - Chris Lilley

How to be a boy

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

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

Lindy Lee

The long game

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2020

Penelope Grist spends some quality time with the Portrait Gallery’s summer collection exhibition, Eye to Eye.

Nancy Wake - The White Mouse

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.

Elle Macpherson

Australian visit in Denmark

Magazine article by Mette Skougaard, 2006

In April 2006 the National Portrait Gallery showcased Australian portraits at the Fredenksborg Castle in Denmark. 

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.
Thomas Mathewson (inset) and his studio on Queen Street, c. 1908 by Thomas Mathewson & Co

Northern exposure

Magazine article by Phil Manning, 2017

Phil Manning celebrates a century of Brisbane photographic portraiture.

Neil Murray

True fella

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

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

Margaret Anderson

The line of fire

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2005

Michelle Fracaro examines the life of World War II nurse Margaret Anderson, whose portrait by Napier Waller is in the NPG collection.

Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC CVO MBE

Spikes: then and now

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

As part of its ongoing program of commissions of portraits of prominent Australians, the National Portrait Gallery has unveiled a portrait of Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson by South Australian artist Avril Thomas.

NPPP finalists

20 20

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2017

Sarah Engledow picks some favourites from a decade of the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Dr Fiona Wood AM

The Good Doctor

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Dr Sarah Engledow describes the achievements of internationally renowned burns and trauma surgeon Professor Fiona Wood.

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.

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.

The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012

Imagination

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow tells the story of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee portrait by Australian artist Ralph Heimans.

Self portrait

A guy from Paris

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2018

Sarah Engledow on a foundational gallery figure who was quick on the draw.

Barry Humphries

No Laughing Matter

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The biographical exhibition of Barry Humphries was the first display of its kind at the National Portrait Gallery.

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.

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.

Anne-Louise Lambert as Miranda Courtesy Picnic Productions

Rock star

Magazine article by Jennifer Coombes, 2018

Jennifer Coombes explores the lush images of Picnic at Hanging Rock, featuring Anne-Louise Lambert’s Miranda, the face of the film. 

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.

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.

Jim Conway

Selfhood transcended

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders and Dr Christopher Chapman, 2018

Anne Sanders and Christopher Chapman bring passionate characterisation to Express Yourself, the Portrait Gallery collection exhibition celebrating iconoclastic Australians.

Thua Tich, South Vietnam, 1969-06 by Christopher Bellis

The jungle look

Magazine article by David Gist, 2019

David Gist steps beyond the public relations veneer of Australia’s official Vietnam War portrait photographs.

Dr Peter Farrell

Giving and getting

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

The exhibition Portraits for Posterity celebrates gifts to the Gallery, of purchases made with donated funds, and testifies to the generosity and community spirit of Australians.

Professor Peter Doherty

The Changing Face of the Scientist

Magazine article by Elizabeth Finlay, 2003

Scientists tend to conjure up images of men in white coats in labs but this is just one stereotype in an evolving history of how we have perceived scientists, and how their profession has been understood over the years.

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.

John Monash

Lauded legacy

Magazine article by Karl James, 2015

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

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.

Cathy Freeman, 1994

Depth of Field

Magazine article by Lauren Dalla, 2004

The exhibition Depth of Field displays a selection of portrait photographs that reflect the strength and diversity of Australian achievement.

Self Portrait, Stuart Campbell by Stuart Campbell

The essence of you

Magazine article by Lee Tulloch, 2011

Lee Tulloch remembers her great friend NIDA-trained actor turned photographer Stuart Campbell.

The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen KGAK GCMG GCVO KBE QC, 2006 by Rick Amor

Prima facie

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow casts a judicious eye over portraits in the Victorian Bar’s Peter O’Callaghan QC Portrait Gallery.

Milton Glaser Art is Work

Portraits and other stories

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2006

As the National Portrait Gallery opens its exhibition of portrait and figurative work by veteran photographer Sam Haskins, the artist reflects on the highlights of his fifty-year career so far.

Bed piece, 1972 by Chris Burden

The boy, the bed and the gun

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman contemplates the provocative performance art of Chris Burden. 

Martin Sharp

Oz and beyond

Magazine article by Diana Warnes, 2007

Martin Sharp fulfils the Pop art idiom of merging art and life.

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.

The Long Awaited, 2008 by Patricia Piccinini

In the flesh

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

An exhibition of humanness in ten themes by Penelope Grist.

General Birdwood, the Idol of Anzac, taking a dip in the sea after a hard days work 1915

In the thick of it

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Projecting the splendour of the empire, and the resolve of its subjects, the bust of William Birdwood keeps a stiff upper lip in the National Portrait Gallery.

David Marr, 2011 by Nicholas Harding

Through thick and thin

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2017

Sarah Engledow likes the manifold mediums of Nicholas Harding’s portraiture.

Karl Robert, Count Nesselrode, 1818 by Sir Thomas Lawrence

The Lawrence lustre

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2019

Angus Trumble salutes the glorious portraiture of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

Sandor Ferenczis 50th birthday dinner, Budapest, 1923

Less than six degrees of separation

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2011

Anne Sanders finds connections in Inner Worlds between Hungarian expatriates and the development of psychoanalysis in Australia.

Sir Macfarlane Burnet

Picture this...

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.

Untitled (girl on chair with red shoes) by Violet Frisby

Finding Mrs Frisby

Magazine article by Robyn Sweaney, 2016

Robyn Sweaney's quiet Violet obsession.

Lottie Lyell as Doreen by Monte Luke

Their brilliant careers

Magazine article by Jenny Gall, 2017

Jenny Gall delves into Starstruck to celebrate some of Australian cinema’s iconic women.

Howard Taylor

Reflections on portraiture

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2004

An extract from the 2004 Nuala O'Flaaherty Memorial Lecture at the Queen Victoria Musuem and Art Gallery in Launceston in which Andrew Sayers reflects on the unique qualities of a portrait gallery.

Albert Jonas and John Xiniwe of The African Choir, 1891 London Stereoscopic Co.

Back in black

Magazine article by Krysia Kitch, 2017

Krysia Kitch reviews black chronicles at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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.

Betty Bryant, c. 1939

The life of Bryant

Magazine article by Tenille Hands, 2018

Tenille Hands explores a portrait prize gifted to the National Screen and Sound Archive.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Unbuttoning uniforms

Magazine article by Sharon Peoples, 2017

Sharon Peoples contemplates costumes and the construction of identity.

Professor Peter Doherty

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.

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.

Adrian Rawlins

Earth to earth

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow discusses the recent gift of works by David Campbell.

Self-portrait, 1962 by Judy Cassab

Flesh, figure and rock

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2018

Aimee Board traces Judy Cassab’s path to the Australian outback, arriving at the junction of inspiration and abstraction.

Ned Kelly death mask

Getting a head

Magazine article by Alexandra Roginski, 2015

Alexandra Roginski gets a feel for phrenology’s fundamentals.

Eileen Dunne in The Hospital for Sick Children, 1940

The incomparable Beaton

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

To accompany the exhibition Cecil Beaton: Portraits, held at the NPG in 2005, this article is drawn from Hugo Vickers's authorised biography, Cecil Beaton (1985).

Woman with Fair Hair and Pink Cardigan, 1949 by John Perceval.

The family scene

Magazine article, 2016

Traudi Allen discovers sensitivity, humour and fine draughtsmanship in the portraiture of John Perceval.

The Sands Brothers (group photograph)

Seeing stars

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores photographic depictions of Aboriginal sportsmen including Lionel Rose, Dave Sands, Jerry Jerome and Douglas Nicholls.

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.

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

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.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-86 by 
John Singer Sargent

A feast of friends

Magazine article by Richard Ormond, 2015

John Singer Sargent: a painter at the vanguard of contemporary movements in music, literature and theatre.

Janice Wakely

Generous Janice

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow puts four gifts to the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection in context.

Studio portrait of Lord Kitchener, British Secretary of State for War, 1914 by J Russell & Sons

All the way with K of K

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow bristles at the biographers’ neglect of Kitchener’s antipodean intervention.

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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.

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