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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.

Edward Paine Butler

Poison pen

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2010

Michael Desmond examines the career of the eighteenth-century suspected poisoner and portrait artist Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

The Cutmear sisters, Jane and Lucy, c. 1842

A man of superior attainments

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2013

Joanna Gilmour explores the life of a colonial portrait artist, writer and rogue Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.

Betty Cuthbert

Hop, skip, shoot

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

Former NPG Deputy Director, Simon Elliott talks with Ern McQuillan about his life and career as a sports photographer.

Jørn Utzon

With a Little Help from my Friends

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

The story behind the acquisition of the portrait of Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Ron Grainer

Dr Who?

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

It is not well known that the person who composed the famous theme music for the BBC's Doctor Who series was Australian Ron Grainer.

123 Faces, 2002

123 Faces

Magazine article by Magda Keaney, 2002

Magda Keaney examines the 123 Faces project by Simon Obarzanek.

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.

Self portrait

A Singular Line

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2003

A newly acquired work by Stella Bowen adds to the National Portrait Gallery's growing collection of important Australian self-portraits.

Nicole Kidman

9 lives of Karin Catt

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2006

Australian photographer Karin Catt has shot across the spectrum of celebrity, her subjects including rock stars, world leaders and actors.

Clifton Pugh and John Olsen, Dunmoochin

Poet of the Fleeting Moment

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

Mark Strizic's work crosses a broad spectrum of photographic fields including urban, industrial, commercial, and architectural photography. 

Kinky Night. Impressions Club, 1987

Aussies all

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2006

The exhibition Aussies all features the ecclectic portrait photography of Rennie Ellis which captures Australian life during the 70s and 80s.

Harry Seidler, Killara, Sydney

A Captured Moment

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2001

The acquisition of David Moore's archive of portrait photographs for the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

Daddy Cool, Melbourne

Now Listen...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2005

Artist Tessa Jones recalls creating her portrait of Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock singer and music producer, Ross Wilson.

Dr John Yu

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.

Paul Kelly

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.

Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2002

The story behind the commissioning of the tapesty portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.

True Stories - Helen Garner

True Stories

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2005

The story behind the creation of the portrait of Helen Garner by Jenny Sages.

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.

Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld

Thousand mile stare

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

John Elliott talks about his photographic portrait practice, including his iconic image of Slim Dusty arm-in-arm with Dame Edna Everage.

Malcolm Fraser

Country man

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Angus Trumble’s tribute to the late Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser.

Deborah Mailman

The Secret Life of Deb

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2003

Australian actress Deborah Mailman is the subject of a unique portrait by Evert Ploeg.

King Barak, last of the Yarra Tribe, 1899

Barak, respected elder

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Dr Christopher Chapman looks at the life of Wurundjeri elder William Barak through the portrait painted by Victor de Pury in 1899.

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.

Audience in the Palace Theater c1943

Exposed: Voyeurism Surveillance and the camera since 1870

Magazine article by Sandra Phillips, 2010

The Tate/SFMOMA exhibition Exposed examined the role of photography in voyeurism and how it challenges ideas of privacy and propriety.

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.

Self portrait

Fine and dandy

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Whether the result of misadventure or misdemeanour, many accomplished artists were transported to Australia where they ultimately left a positive mark on the history of art in this country.

As long as you're here, 2013 by Tony Curran

Touchy touchy

Magazine article by Tony Curran, 2015

Tony Curran ponders whether our phones can change the course of painting.

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.

Mary Ann Lawrence, 1841

Fits of delicacy and despair

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Henry Mundy's portraits flesh out notions of propriety and good taste in a convict colony.

Jim Cobb at Chroma factory Mt Kuring-gai, NSW, 2017 by Mark Mohell

The alchemist’s profile

Magazine article by John Zubrzycki, 2017

John Zubrzycki meets Australian paint pioneer Jim Cobb.

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.

Dave Graney

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.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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