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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.

Beatrix Potter, 1938 Delmar Banner

Family space

Play Plot
Event, Daily from Saturday 2 July

This school holidays, remember to hop (like Peter Rabbit) into our play plot! Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s portrait in our special exhibition, Shakespeare to Winehouse.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye with Lily

Little faces

Event, Selected days until Friday 27 May

Little Faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

Tim Fairfax AC

Philanthropy Australia names Tim Fairfax as Australia’s 2021 Leading Philanthropist

24 November 2021
Media

Australian philanthropy’s highest honour, the Leading Philanthropist Award, was awarded to Tim Fairfax AC for his significant and enduring contributions to rural and regional Australia, as well as his passionate support and advocacy for organisations involved in education, arts and culture.

Jacki Weaver

Flash mob

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2019

Sarah Engledow trains her exacting lens on the nine photographs from 20/20.

A free family festival to celebrate spring and Children’s Week

24 October 2018
Archived media releases 2018

Wake from your winter hibernation to celebrate Children’s Week and Canberra’s spring season at the National Portrait Gallery’s free Spring Festival.

Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds

Portrait stories

General content

The National Portrait Gallery interviewed the 20/20 artists and subjects throughout the commissioning journey. Browse these Portrait Stories to get insights into the incredible achievements of the subjects and the creation of their portraits.

Tan Le

'So many stars'
Portrait story

Tech entrepreneur Tan Le and photographer John Tsiavis.

Catherine Livingstone

A conversation between artist and subject
Portrait story

Businesswoman Catherine Livingstone and artist Mathew Lynn.

Jessica Mauboy

'Chaos and stillness'
Portrait story

Singer, songwriter and actress Jessica Mauboy with artist David Rosetzky.

David Foster

'What the tree saw'
Portrait story

World champion woodcutter David Foster and artist Jacqui Stockdale.

Michelle Simmons

Eureka moment
Portrait story

Professor Michelle Simmons and photographer Selina Ou.

Jessica Mauboy

National Portrait Gallery unveils twenty new portrait commissions to celebrate twenty years

18 October 2018
Archived media releases 2018

The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled twenty new portrait commissions of Australian leaders and individualists as part of its twentieth birthday celebrations in a new exhibition, 20/20: Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions.

Catherine Livingstone

Catherine Livingstone, 2018

by Mathew Lynn
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2018

Tim Fairfax

Tim Fairfax, 2018

by Russell Shakespeare
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by The Calvert-Jones Foundation 2018

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown

Study in scarlet

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2018

Angus Trumble reflects on the force of nature that was Helena Rubinstein.

Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin, 2017–2018

by Jun Chen
General content

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2018

Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds

Andrew Gaze

'Make it fun'
Portrait story

Basketballer Andrew Gaze and photographer George Fetting.

Nikki Toole

'Beauty and strength'
Portrait story

Photographer Nikki Toole describes the creation of her portrait of Rosie Batty.

Rosie Batty

'Together we will give victims a voice and demand our leaders act'
Portrait story

The 2015 Australian of the Year talks about grief and searching for recognition of, and action on, domestic violence.

Li Cunxin
Li Cunxin
Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin, 2018

Jun Chen
Portrait, oil on canvas

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2018

Catherine Livingstone
Catherine Livingstone
Catherine Livingstone

Catherine Livingstone, 2018

Mathew Lynn
Portrait, oil on canvas

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2018

Tim Fairfax
Tim Fairfax
Tim Fairfax

Tim Fairfax, 2018

Russell Shakespeare
Portrait, inkjet print on paper

Commissioned with funds provided by The Calvert-Jones Foundation 2018

David McAllister

'Complex stories without words'
Portrait story

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister describes the trajectory of his relationship with dance.

Ken Done

'I am very Sydney'
Portrait story

Iconic Australian artist Ken Done discusses his life and career as a painter.

Quentin Bryce

'To change the world'
Portrait story

Australia's 25th Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, discusses her childhood, career paths and her portrait by Michael Zavros.

Brian Schmidt

'A celebration of science'
Portrait story

Astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate and Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Professor Brian Schmidt chats about his career.

Mark Webber

'You've got to make of it what you will'
Portrait story

Champion racing driver, Mark Webber, discusses his childhood and racing career.

Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe video: 3 minutes 9 seconds

Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe

'Poetry, painting and princesses'
Portrait story

Artist Kristin Headlam and poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe discuss their art.

Mark Loane

'The small space we are given'
Portrait story

Ophthalmic surgeon and former Wallabies Captain, Mark Loane, discusses his sporting and professional career.

Christos Tsiolkas

'Learning to write saved my life'
Portrait story

Acclaimed Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas describes his childhood and how he came to write.

Jacqueline Mitelman

'Buddha-nature'
Portrait story

Australian photographer, Jacqueline Mitelman, discusses her process for creating portraiture.

Professor Graeme Clark

'Scientific creativity'
Portrait story

Creator of the bionic ear, the Cochlear Implant, Professor Graeme Clark discusses his life and career.

Michael Leunig

'Drawing the human spirit'
Portrait story
Philosopher, cartoonist and national treasure, Michael Leunig discusses his art.
 

Glenn Murcutt

'Strength and delicacy'
Portrait story

Award-winning Australian architect, Glenn Murcutt describes the philosophy of his architectural practice and his minimalist portrait by Ken Done.

Charlie Teo

'I would love to be considered mainstream'
Portrait story

Acclaimed neurosurgeon, Charlie Teo discusses the pressures of his career.

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown

Philanthropic donations enable otherwise unobtainable acquisition

20 October 2016
Archived media releases 2016

A magnanimous portrait of Helena Rubinstein has been acquired for the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

David Malouf

'The person who is the writer'
Portrait story

Australian author David Malouf discusses the creation of his portrait by artist Rick Amor.

Dave Graney and Clare Moore

'Why would you want to listen to pub rock?'
Portrait story

Dave Graney and Clare Moore discuss music, photography and bandoleros of meat.

Cadel Evans

'I believed in myself'
Portrait story

Australian champion cyclist Cadel Evans discusses his career.

Lowitja O'Donoghue and Robert Hannaford

'I'm going to wear everything red, black, and yellow'
Portrait story

Lowitja O'Donoghue discusses her life and portrait by Robert Hannaford.

Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds

Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford

'The space around'
Portrait story

Tim Flannery and artist Robert Hannaford discuss the creation of Tim's portrait.

Shane Gould

'Swimming is in my bones'
Portrait story

Shane Gould, Australian champion and Olympic gold medallist talks about her passion for swimming.

Quentin Bryce
Quentin Bryce
Quentin Bryce

Quentin Bryce, 2016

Michael Zavros
Portrait, oil on canvas

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2016

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

Ned Kelly and death masks

'Judge a person by their cover'
Portrait story

Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology.

Mandyam Srinivasan

'Hive minds'
Portrait story

An interview with Professor of Visual Neuroscience, University of Queensland, Mandyam Srinivasan.

Andrew Sayers

Andrew Sayers AM FAHA

13 October 2015
Archived media releases 2015

The Chairman, Board, Director and staff mourn the loss of the National Portrait Gallery's inaugural director.

Michael Riley's portraits

Portrait story

Linda Burney, Brenda Croft and Darrell Sibosado share memories of Michael Riley and his photographic practice.

Rod McNicol

'Life and Times'
Portrait story

Echoing 19th-century photography, Rod McNicol's portraits give us a chance to look quietly at the human condition.

Charles Teo

Charles Teo

by Adam Chang (Hong Jun Zhang)
Portrait story

Dr Charles Teo, high-profile neurosurgeon, describes how it felt to sit for the portrait by Adam Chang (Hong Jun Zhang).

Sid Myer AM

Foundation members announced

18 May 2015
Archived media releases 2015

The newly-established National Portrait Gallery Foundation met for its inaugural meeting last Friday 15 May in Canberra.

William Bligh by John Webber video: 2 minutes

William Bligh

by John Webber
Portrait story

Twice rebelled against, and twice vindicated, William Bligh occupies an ambivalent space in Australian history. Angus Trumble, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery, explains.

Sid Myer AM

Foundation Members

Foundation

Chairman Sid Myer AM, Ross Adler AC, Tim Bednall, Jillian Broadbent AC, Marilyn Darling AC, Tim Fairfax AC, Penny Fowler, John Liangis, Dr Helen Nugent AO and Nigel Satterley AM.

Gordon Darling

by Jiawei Shen
Portrait story

Gordon Darling talks about how Jiawei Shen came to paint his portrait.

Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes

Marilyn Darling

by Anne Zahalka
Portrait story

Marilyn Darling talks about the creation of her portrait, and the photographic process.

Aldo Giurgola

by Mandy Martin
Portrait story

Romaldo Giurgola talks about his portrait and the relationship between architecture and landscape.

Portrait of Cate Blanchett

by David Rosetzky
Portrait story

David Rosetzky and Cate Blanchett talk about the creation of their video portrait.

Virtual Excursions

Current programs

Live, interactive learning programs coming soon wherever you are.

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.

Robert Drewe

An interview with Nicholas Harding
Portrait story

Artist Nicholas Harding talks about what was captured in his portrait of Robert Drewe.

Nicholas Harding

'A portrait of Hugo Weaving'
Portrait story

Artist Nicholas Harding talks about how he became interested in portraiture, and his motivation in painting Hugo Weaving.

Akira Isogawa

Inside the patterns
Portrait story

Iconic Australian fashion designer, Akira Isogawa discusses the development of his unique style.

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown
Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown
Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown, 1957

Graham Sutherland
Portrait, oil on canvas

Purchased with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC, Tim Fairfax AC and the Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation 2015

Kate Grenville

'The secret river'
Portrait story

Kate Grenville reads a passage from her novel The secret river and describes its creation.

Kate Grenville

'Making Stories'
Portrait story

Australian writer Kate Grenville discusses her career and portrait by Jenny Sages.

'The portraits of Captain Cook'

An interview with Betty Churcher
Portrait story

Betty Churcher describes the creation of the portrait of Captain James Cook in the National Portrait Gallery.

Betty Churcher

'Blockbuster Betty'
Portrait story

Betty Churcher discusses her career as the Director of the National Gallery of Australia.

Penny Sackett

From Earth to Sky
Portrait story

Professor Penny Sackett, Australian National University and former Chief Scientist for Australia (2008-2011) talks about her life in science.

Penny Sackett and Andrew Mezei

From Earth to Sky
Portrait story

Professor Penny Sackett and artist Andrew Mezei describe the process behind making the portrait.

Portrait stories

Publications

A selection of audiovisual stories about the artists and subjects in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

Mark Richards

No choice, you’re going surfing, son
Portrait story

Australian surfing legend Mark Richards describes his professional surfing and surfboard shaping careers.

Tom Carroll

Portrait story

Regarded as one of the greatest surfers of all time, Tom Carroll describes his career.

National Portrait Gallery

History

About us

How the National Portrait Gallery and its unique collection came to be

Andrew Mezei

'From Earth to Sky'
Portrait story

Artist Andrew Mezei talks about his art practice and the process behind his portrait of Professor Penny Sackett. 

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

Self portrait, 1999/2005

Tracey Moffatt AO
Portrait, black and white photograph, pen, and hand-coloured photograph on paper

Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AM 2013

Dr Christopher Chapman

The art of Inner Worlds

Lecture, 7 May 2011
General content

Dr Christopher Chapman NPG Curator of Inner Worlds explains the development of an exhibition that spans from Surrealism to contemporary art.

Peter Sculthorpe

'Brings in the sun'
Portrait story

Legendary Australian composer, Peter Sculthorpe, describes the development of his career.

Professor Frank Fenner

'A White Shirt'
Portrait story

An interview with Professor Frank Fenner who describes his life and the creation of his portrait.

Nora Heysen

'This peaceful spot'
Portrait story

Australian artist, Nora Heysen, discusses her childhood and the development of her career.

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG

'Radical Restraint'
Portrait story

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG interviews the artist who painted his portrait, Ralph Heimans.

Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter

'A big idea'
Portrait story

Professor Marcia Langton, artist Brook Andrew and printer Trent Walter discuss the creation of Marcia's portrait.

Shane Maloney and Rick Amor

'Big canvas, small head'
Portrait story

Artist Rick Amor and author Shane Maloney relate divergent experiences of the creation of Shane's portrait.

David Chalmers

'Consciousness, iPhones and philosophical zombies'
Portrait story

Professor David Chalmers explains his interest in philosophy and introduces some of his theories on the conscious mind.

Bob Brown

In defence of the 'leech ridden ditch'
Portrait story

Bob Brown discusses the events that occurred during the Franklin River campaign as depicted in his portrait by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton.

Portrait of Patrick Ryan
Portrait of Patrick Ryan
Portrait of Patrick Ryan

Portrait of Patrick Ryan, 1971

Fred Williams
Portrait, gouache on paper laid on board

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2012

Marilyn Darling AC

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

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.

Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC

Marilyn Darling AC, 2010

Anne Zahalka
Portrait, colour transparency on lightbox

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2010

Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

Self portrait, c. 1948

John Brack
Portrait, conté crayon on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2010

Peter Sculthorpe

Peter Sculthorpe

A Celebration
Previous exhibition, 2009

To celebrate Peter Sculthorpe's 80th birthday, the National Portrait Gallery has created a feature exhibition of portraits and associated biographic material drawn from the National Portrait Gallery and the composer’s personal collection.

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.

Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner
Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner
Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner

Automatic for the people: Casey Stoner, 2008

Scott Redford
Portrait, Laser-cut vinyl and computer print on aluminium composite sheet, painted custom-wood frame

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2008

Senator Bonner
Senator Bonner
Senator Bonner

Senator Bonner, 1990

Robert Campbell Jnr
Portrait, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2008

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.

Dr Peter Farrell

Giving and getting

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2006

The exhibition Portraits for Posterity celebrates gifts to the Gallery, of purchases made with donated funds, and testifies to the generosity and community spirit of Australians.

Sir Charles Court and Richard Court
Sir Charles Court and Richard Court
Sir Charles Court and Richard Court

Sir Charles Court and Richard Court, 2006-2007

Mary Moore
Portrait, oil on composition board

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2006

Norman Lindsay

Max Dupain

The Vintage Years
Previous exhibition, 2003

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

Dame Mary Gilmore
Dame Mary Gilmore
Dame Mary Gilmore

Dame Mary Gilmore, 1961

Max Dupain OBE
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2003

David Gulpilil, Arnhem Land
David Gulpilil, Arnhem Land
David Gulpilil, Arnhem Land

David Gulpilil, Arnhem Land, 1981 (printed 2000)

David Moore
Portrait, type C photograph on paper

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

Damien Parer

Mirror With A Memory

Photographic Portraiture in Australia
Previous exhibition, 2000

This is the first major exhibition to examine photographic portraiture in Australia, from its beginnings in the early 1840s to the present day

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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