Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

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.

Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker

Tough & Tender

Previous exhibition, 2016

Art by Warwick Baker, Chris Burden, Larry Clark, Rozalind Drummond, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe and Collier Schorr explores personal relations, individual expression and fluid identity.

Lindy Lee - Birth and Death, 2006 by Robert Scott-Mitchell

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2007

Previous exhibition, 2007

Photography is the most pervasive and popular medium for portraiture and makes a natural fit with the Gallery, being a natural extension of the Gallery's longstanding commitment to photography as a contemporary portrait medium.

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.

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

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.

Elle Macpherson

Polly Borland

Australians
Previous exhibition, 2001

Polly Borland: Australians, is an exhibition of 54 new portraits of significant Australians who have made a contribution to British life and who have largely made their home or based their professional life in the UK

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

Mel Gibson

POL

Portrait of a Generation
Previous exhibition, 2003

POL was a magazine that ran from 1969 to 1986

Gloria Petyarre by R. Ian Lloyd

Studio

Australian Painters Photographed by R. Ian Lloyd
Previous exhibition, 2007

Studio: Australian Painters Photographed by R

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.

Barry Humphries

Lewis Morley

Myself and Eye
Previous exhibition, 2003

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

Norman Lindsay

Max Dupain

The Vintage Years
Previous exhibition, 2003

During his long and distinguished career Max Dupain took thousands of photographs of people

Professor Peter Doherty

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

Annette Kellerman

Indecent exposure

Annette Kellerman
Previous exhibition, 2011

'Diving Venus' and 'the perfect woman' are two of the numerous descriptions applied to Annette Kellerman, who achieved international fame during the early decades of the twentieth century.

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

Rosaleen Norton, Witch of Kings Cross

Rennie Ellis

Aussies All
Previous exhibition, 2006

Rennie Ellis: Aussies All is a celebration of the life and work of the late Australian photographer Rennie Ellis.

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and his wife Theresa

Husbands and Wives

Photographic Portraits from 19th Century Australia
Previous exhibition, 2010

'I have just been to my dressing case to take a peep at you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Betty Burstall

Arthur Boyd Portraits

Previous exhibition, 1999

This is the first in a series of National Portrait Gallery exhibitions to survey the portraits painted by artists who are not thought of, primarily, as portrait painters

Self Portrait (Textanude) by Arlene TextaQueen

Animated

Self Portraits Online
Previous exhibition, 2008

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Jessie Street

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013
Previous exhibition, 2013

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

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize
Current exhibition

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.

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.

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

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.

Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill)

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.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester

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.

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.

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

Johnny O'Keefe

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

© 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 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