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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.

Self portrait

Elegance in exile

Portrait drawings from colonial Australia
Previous exhibition, 2012

Elegance in exile is an exhibition surveying the work of Richard Read senior, Thomas Bock, Thomas Griffiths Wainewright and Charles Rodius: four artists who, though exiled to Australia as convicts, created many of the most significant and elegant portraits of the colonial period.

Video still from Dream Job, 2011 by David M Thomas

David M Thomas

Dream Job
Previous exhibition, 2011

Since 1993 Brisbane-based artist David M Thomas has investigated self identity through art works that encompass painting, text, audio, video and performance.

© Shirley Purdie/Copyright Agency, 2020

Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

Shirley Purdie
Previous exhibition, 2020

Using ochres collected on her country in Western Australia’s East Kimberley, Shirley Purdie’s self-portrait is a kaleidoscope of traditional Gija stories and Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) passed down to her.

Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes

Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

The Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award is an annual event intended to extend traditional notions of portraiture and reflects the National Portrait Gallery's commitment to fostering emerging artists with an interest in contemporary technology.

Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang

William Yang

Australian Chinese
Previous exhibition, 2001

William Yang's art is about the telling of stories, his work is an intriguing mixture of philosophy, autobiography, social history and documentary imbued with a sense of the artist's own curiosity, humanity and humour

Paul Kelly, 1992 by Wendy McDougall

Paul Kelly and The Portraits

Previous exhibition, 2013

Aspects of singer songwriter Paul Kelly’s performance persona are communicated by portraits selected from a range of artists and leading music photographers in this focus exhibition.

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

The Joy Of Life, 2002 by Janelle McKay

Headspace 3

Being Me
Previous exhibition, 2002

The self-portrait enables students to explore emerging and changing aspects of their own identity, their sense of self, their place in the world, their experience of being human

Marcia Langton

Collection in focus: Brook Andrew

Previous exhibition, 2017

Experience the artistic clout of Brook Andrew’s portraits of Marcia Langton AM and Anthony Mundine.

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.

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.

Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW

Thousand Mile Stare

Portrait photography by John Elliott
Previous exhibition, 2004

Thousand mile stare provides a unique portrait of people of rural Australia

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency