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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.

George Reid paperweight

Some prime ministers

General content

Sarah Engledow explores the history of the prime ministers and artists featured in the exhibition.

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.

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.

Sir Robert Garran
Sir Robert Garran
Sir Robert Garran

Sir Robert Garran, 1922

Bernard Hall
Portrait, oil on canvas

Gift of John Garran 2019. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

William Dobell
William Dobell
William Dobell

William Dobell, 1943

Max Dupain OBE
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Gift of Danina Anderson, daughter of Max Dupain 2017.
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies

Sir Robert Menzies, c. 1952

Louis Kahan AO
Portrait, fibre-tipped pen and ink on paper

Gift of Mrs Lily Kahan 2017. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Ms Anna Burke MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives 2015 by Jude Rae

Hired guns, bounty hunters and horse whisperers

Magazine article by Jude Rae, 2016

Jude Rae contemplates the portrait commission.

Ray Lawler

Diamond Doll

Magazine article by Karen Vickery, 2016

Karen Vickery delights in a thespian thread of the Australian yarn.

Commander Skyring, Gang-gang cockatoo by Leila Jeffreys

A real tweet

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2016

Sarah Engledow plays wingman to Leila Jeffreys.

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.

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.

Jessie Street

Australia’s great internationalists

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

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

Christian Waller with Baldur, Undine and Siren at Fairy Hills, 1932 by Napier Waller

Enigma

Magazine article by Grace Carroll, 2015

Grace Carroll contemplates the curious case of Christian Waller.

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.

Barry Humphries

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling
General content

Sarah Engledow writes about Gordon and Marilyn Darling and their support for the National Portrait Gallery throughout its evolution.

Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies

Sir Robert Menzies, c. 1966

Les Tanner
Portrait, cast plaster

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Emeritus Professor Colin A Hughes 2015

Dame Elizabeth Couchman
Dame Elizabeth Couchman
Dame Elizabeth Couchman

Dame Elizabeth Couchman, n.d.

Aileen Dent
Portrait, oil on canvas

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Susan Webster, step-granddaughter of Dame Elizabeth Couchman, 2015

Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies

Sir Robert Menzies, c. 1963-1964

an unknown artist
Portrait, colour process lithograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2014

Dame Mabel Brookes
Dame Mabel Brookes
Dame Mabel Brookes

Dame Mabel Brookes, c. 1955

Sir William Dargie CBE
Portrait, oil on canvas

Gift of Rodney Davidson AO OBE 2014. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones
Sir Charles Lloyd Jones
Sir Charles Lloyd Jones

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones, 1951

Sir William Dobell OBE
Portrait, oil on composition board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Simpson family in memory of Caroline Simpson OAM 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

William Dobell
William Dobell
William Dobell

William Dobell, 1942

Max Dupain OBE
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Richard King 2008
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

L. Gordon Darling AC CMG

Portrait of a patron

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

A new painting by Jiawei Shen captures the vision and resolve of the Gallery's founder, L. Gordon Darling AC CMG.

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.

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.

Senator Nancy Buttfield

A Pioneering Life

Magazine article by Lauren Dalla, 2005

During her time in Australian politics, Dame Nancy Buttfield was an impressive advocate for equality for women and was responsible for ending the marriage bar for women in the Public Service.

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

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

Ming Vase (Sir Robert Menzies)
Ming Vase (Sir Robert Menzies)
Ming Vase (Sir Robert Menzies)

Ming Vase (Sir Robert Menzies), c. 1970

Les Tanner, Gus McLaren
Portrait, glazed ceramic

Purchased 2004

Senator Nancy Buttfield
Senator Nancy Buttfield
Senator Nancy Buttfield

Senator Nancy Buttfield, 1958

Sir Ivor Hele
Portrait, oil on masonite

Gift of Senator Dame Nancy Buttfield DBE 2003. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Dame Joan Sutherland
Dame Joan Sutherland
Dame Joan Sutherland

Dame Joan Sutherland, c. 1977

Robert Hannaford AM
Portrait, oil on board

Gift of William Bowmore AO OBE 2003. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Study for Portrait of W S Robinson
Study for Portrait of W S Robinson
Study for Portrait of W S Robinson

Study for Portrait of W S Robinson, 1952

Sir William Dobell OBE
Portrait, oil on board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2003

Joan Sutherland
Joan Sutherland
Joan Sutherland

Joan Sutherland, n.d. (printed 1992)

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

William Dobell, Potts Point, Sydney
William Dobell, Potts Point, Sydney
William Dobell, Potts Point, Sydney

William Dobell, Potts Point, Sydney, 1960 (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.

President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport
President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport
President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport

President Johnson and Prime Minister Holt at Canberra Airport, 1966 (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.

Robert Menzies, Sydney
Robert Menzies, Sydney
Robert Menzies, Sydney

Robert Menzies, Sydney, 1963 (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.

Robert Menzies, Lancaster House, London
Robert Menzies, Lancaster House, London
Robert Menzies, Lancaster House, London

Robert Menzies, Lancaster House, London, 1956 (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.

Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Menzies

Sir Robert Menzies, 1985

Andor Meszaros
Portrait, cast bronze medallion on wood plaque

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Ray Marginson AM 2001

John Howard and Janette Howard
John Howard and Janette Howard
John Howard and Janette Howard

John Howard and Janette Howard, 2000

Josonia Palaitis
Portrait, oil on canvas

Commissioned with funds provided by the Founding Patron, L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2000

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

Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies
Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies
Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies

Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, c. 1962

Victor Greenhalgh
Portrait, cast bronze

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Lady Bunting in honour of Sir John Bunting and the Menzies Foundation 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Sketch for Prime Minister Robert Menzies
Sketch for Prime Minister Robert Menzies
Sketch for Prime Minister Robert Menzies

Sketch for Prime Minister Robert Menzies, 1960

Sir William Dobell OBE
Portrait, watercolour and gouache on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 1999

Harold Holt
Harold Holt
Harold Holt

Harold Holt, 1969

Victor Greenhalgh
Portrait, cast bronze on granite base

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Paul and Wendy Greenhalgh 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

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.

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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.

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.

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