Skip to main content
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.

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.

Ryder Jack Susman in a Williamstown hairdresser by Abigail Varney

PROMO

Portraits from prime time
Previous exhibition, 2014

This exhibition goes behind-the-scenes and into the spotlight with professional photographers and the stars of Australian television, music and comedy. Whether negotiating the logistics of a big publicity shoot or quietly capturing moments on set during filming, the photographers' stories are intriguing and compelling.

On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis At 21

Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer
Previous exhibition, 2013

Elvis at 21 is a photographic exhibition capturing Elvis’ rise to fame in the year 1956, before security and money built walls between him and his fans.

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.

William Barak at work on the drawing ‘Ceremony’ at Coranderrk

The Reflecting Eye

Portraits of Australian Visual Artists
Touring exhibition, 1996

As the first National Portrait Gallery travelling exhibition, The reflecting eye: portraits of Australian visual artists represents an important milestone in the history of Australia's National Portrait Gallery.

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

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

Mel Gibson

POL

Portrait of a Generation
Previous exhibition, 2003

POL was a magazine that ran from 1969 to 1986

Albert Namatjira

Sir William Dargie

A Ninetieth Birthday Tribute
Previous exhibition, 2002

As a tribute to Sir William Dargie's singular contribution to Australian art and cultural institutions, and on the occasion of his birthday, The Australian War Memorial, Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery will mount exhibitions of his work between May and October

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.

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.

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

Sir Ian Potter

Mark Strizic

A Journey in Photography
Previous exhibition, 2004

This exhibition traces the creative output of nearly 50 years by one of Australia's landmark living photographers.

Checkered Past, 2003 by Alex Epoff

Headspace 4

Facing Memory
Previous exhibition, 2003

Facing Memory: Headspace 4 provides us with valuable insights into the thoughts, creative processes and art-making practices of secondary students from Year 7 to Year 12 from sixty-two schools in the Australian Capital Territory, regional New South Wales and Victoria

Baz Luhrmann

Glossy 2

Faces, Magazines, Now
Previous exhibition, 2005

Following the success of Glossy: Faces, Magazines, Now in 1999 the National Portrait Gallery again highlights the huge array of contemporary portraiture in the pages of magazines.

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.

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.

William Dobell

A Tribute to William Dobell

Previous exhibition, 1999

Adapted from A Tribute to William Dobell an exhibition presented by the Australian National University's Drill Hall Gallery in association with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, The National Gallery of Australia, and the Australian War Memorial. Dobell is of course, celebrated for his achievements in portraiture, winning the Archibald prize (1943, 1948 and 1959), the Wynne Prize (1948), and representing Australia at the 1954 Venice Biennale. Curator Mary Eagle concludes her essay in the catalogue of the exhibition thus, "Overall I see a dissonance in Dobell’s art and life

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.

John Farnham

Glossy - Faces Magazines Now

Previous exhibition, 1999

Magazines are the portrait galleries of the 90s... Glossy is about magazines. The exhibition presents the work of eight photographers, Australian by birth or long-term residency, who are producing portraits for publication in magazines around the world.

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

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

Self Portrait (Textanude) by Arlene TextaQueen

Animated

Self Portraits Online
Previous exhibition, 2008

Animated is the National Portrait Gallery's first online exhibition.

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

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm

Uncommon Australians

Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery
Previous exhibition, 1992

In 1988 philanthropists Gordon and Marilyn Darling decided to make an Australian portrait gallery a reality, overseeing the development of the 1992 touring exhibition Uncommon Australians.

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.

Professor Peter Doherty

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.

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.

Prince William of Wales, by Mario Testino, 2003 publ. September 2003.
Credit: Mario Testino

Vanity Fair Portraits

Photographs 1913-2008
Previous exhibition, 2009

Vanity Fair Portraits traces the birth and evolution of photographic portraiture through the archives of Vanity Fair magazine.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018

Previous exhibition, 2018

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.

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.

Margaret Fulton

Masters of Fare

Chefs, winemakers, providores
Previous exhibition, 2004

Masters of fare: chefs, winemakers, providores celebrates men and women who have championed the unique culinary characteristics and produce of Australia, enriching our lives with new ideas and new flavours over the past forty years.

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.

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.

© 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