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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.

Adut, The Studio Series, 2015 Atong Atem

Icons and Identities

General content

It’s often thought that foremost among portraiture’s many functions is the documentation of individuals who are celebrated and familiar, or who best exemplify the temper and identity of a certain place at a certain time.

Wesley Enoch and David McAllister

Splendid, many-splendoured

Magazine article by Sandra Bruce, 2021

Sandra Bruce gazes on love and the portrait through Australian Love Stories’ multi-faceted prism.

spaces between movement and stillness

Harriet Schwarzrock: spaces between movement and stillness

10 February 2021
Archived media releases 2021

To celebrate the new exhibition Australian Love Stories, renowned Australian glass artist Harriet Schwarzrock has been commissioned to make a large-scale installation reflecting on the role the heart plays as our emotional centre.

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown

Australian Love Stories

4 January 2021
Archived media releases 2021

A major new exhibition celebrating love in all its guises. Opening 20 March 2021.

Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts

Who is Lillie Roberts?

Devotion

Talented wife for a talented husband

Self-portrait in black jumper, 2017 Graeme Drendel

Be frank

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2020

Close encounters are the genesis for Graeme Drendel’s enticing portraiture.

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 Window Seat, 1907 by Frances Hodgkins

Kiwi magpie

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2018

Penelope Grist finds inspiration in pioneering New Zealand artist, Frances Hodgkins.

Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts

2013-14 Acquisition Fund

Annual Appeal

This 1910 portrait of Elizabeth Sarah (Lillie) Roberts by Tom Roberts was brought into the Gallery's collection with the assistance of the Acquisition Fund in 2013.

Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt, 1891

Falk Studios
Portrait, albumen silver photograph on cabinet card

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Henry Fullwood (Uncle Remus)
Henry Fullwood (Uncle Remus)
Henry Fullwood (Uncle Remus)

Henry Fullwood (Uncle Remus), 1919

George Lambert
Portrait, pencil on paper

Gift of Denis Savill 2017. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Tribute: Mary Isabel Murphy

About Face article

The Chairman, Board, Director and all the staff of the National Portrait Gallery mourn the loss of our Benefactor, Mary Isabel Murphy.

Reg Richardson AM

Grow the Portrait Gallery of Australia

9 June 2016
Archived media releases 2016

The Portrait Gallery is calling for contributions to support in the acquisition of superb portraits for the national collection.

First-Class Marksman, 1946 by Sidney Nolan

Money for Myth

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2015

Australian character on the market by Jane Raffan.

John Monash

Lauded legacy

Magazine article by Karl James, 2015

Karl James gives short shrift to doubts about the profile of General Sir John Monash.

Henry Lawson

Regarding Henrys

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

Sarah Engledow ponders the divergent legacies of Messrs Kendall and Lawson.

Patrick Ryan, 1968 by Mark Strizic

The silent partner

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2015

One half of the team that was Eltham Films left scarcely a trace in the written historical record, but survives in a vivid portrait.

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.

James T. Donovan
James T. Donovan
James T. Donovan

James T. Donovan, 1892

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas

Purchased 2015

Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)
Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)
Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)

Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary), 1903

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)
Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)
Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)

Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary), 1903

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)
Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)
Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary)

Duchess of Cornwall and York (later Queen Mary), 1903

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)
Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)
Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)

Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V), 1903

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)
Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)
Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V)

Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V), 1903

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Peter Roberts 2015

Self portrait

Rick Amor: 21 Portraits

General content

Sarah Engledow chronicles Rick Amor's work and accomplishments in this extensive essay in conjunction with the exhibition Rick Amor: 21 Portraits.

National Portrait Gallery

History

About us

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

Caleb Williamson Esq.
Caleb Williamson Esq.
Caleb Williamson Esq.

Caleb Williamson Esq., c. 1887

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas

Courtesy of Dr. J Allsop

Chevalier d’Eon, 1792

All dressed up

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

Jane Raffan asks do clothes make the portrait, and can the same work with a new title fetch a better price?

Robert Henderson Croll
Robert Henderson Croll
Robert Henderson Croll

Robert Henderson Croll, 1927

Frederick George Reynolds
Portrait, oil on canvas on board

Gift of Grietje Croll in memory of her late husband Robert Devereaux Croll and with the endorsement of his daughter Helen Croll 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts
Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts
Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts

Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts, 1910

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas

Purchased with the assistance of the Circle of Friends 2013

Dr Anne Sanders

Less than six degrees of separation

Lecture, 28 May 2011
General content

Dr Anne Sanders NPG Curatorial Researcher investigated the lives of the pioneering psychologists whose portraits are featured in Inner Worlds.

Practising the Minuet

'Who was Hilda Spong?'
Portrait story

Broadway star Miss Hilda Spong was painted by Tom Roberts in 1893.

The sisters, 1904

Beguiling impressions

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2012

Sarah Engledow is seduced by the portraits and the connections between the artists and their subjects in the exhibition Impressions: Painting light and life.

The Federal Leader Edmund Barton
The Federal Leader Edmund Barton
The Federal Leader Edmund Barton

The Federal Leader Edmund Barton, c. 1900

Nelson Illingworth
Portrait, cast plaster, painted

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2012

Tea time, c.1898–1902 by Rupert Bunny (1864–1947)

Impressions

Painting light and life
Previous exhibition, 2011

Impressions: Painting light and life presents portraits by, and of, artists at the heart of Australian impressionism including Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin.

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.

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.

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.

Self portrait

Small worlds

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Bess Norriss Tait created miniature watercolour portraits full of character and life.

Self portrait, 1645

The considered life

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2010

Andrew Sayers asks whether a portrait can truly be the examination of a life.

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.

Sir William Charles Windeyer

Private virtues public lives

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Family affections are preserved in a fine selection of intimate portraits.

Dr Brown and Green Old Time Waltz

Where the wild things are

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond explores the complex portrait of Dr Bob Brown by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton.

The National Portrait Gallery

In the galleries

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2009

Christopher Chapman highlights the inaugural hang of the new National Portrait Gallery building which opened in December 2008.

Jessie Street

Worth her salt

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Jerrold Nathan's portrait of Jessie Street shows the elegant side of a many-faceted lady.

Kevin Rudd

An Australian story

Magazine article by Hon. Kevin Rudd, 2009

In his speech launching the new National Portrait Gallery building on 3 December 2008, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd set the Gallery in a national and historical context.

The Lawn at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day
The Lawn at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day
The Lawn at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day

The Lawn at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, c. 1889

Goupil & Cie after Carl Kahler
Portrait, photogravure on paper

Purchased 2009

The Colonel (portrait of Walter Withers)
The Colonel (portrait of Walter Withers)
The Colonel (portrait of Walter Withers)

The Colonel (portrait of Walter Withers), 1896

David Davies
Portrait, pastel on paper

Purchased 2009

Sir William Charles Windeyer
Sir William Charles Windeyer
Sir William Charles Windeyer

Sir William Charles Windeyer, 1892

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas

Gift of the family of Sir Victor and Lady Windeyer 2009. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

image not online

Portrait of Andrew Garran, c 1895

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on cedar panel

On loan from the Garran family

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong)

An actress and her fans

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2008

Dr. Sarah Engledow discovers the amazing life of Ms. Hilda Spong, little remembered star of the stage, who was captured in a portrait by Tom Roberts.

Bob Croll of the AAA Vic.
Bob Croll of the AAA Vic.
Bob Croll of the AAA Vic.

Bob Croll of the AAA Vic., 1916

David Low
Portrait, pencil, pen and ink on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Society of Artists Selection Committee
Society of Artists Selection Committee
Society of Artists Selection Committee

Society of Artists Selection Committee, 1907

Henry King
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Purchased 2008

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong)
Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong)
Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong)

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong), 1893

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas

Purchased with funds provided by the Ian Potter Foundation 2008

Dion G Boucicault
Dion G Boucicault
Dion G Boucicault

Dion G Boucicault,

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on wood panel

Beleura - The Trustees of The Tallis Foundation, Mornington, Victoria

Self portrait with gladioli

Money and swat

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2007

Andrew Sayers discusses the real cost of George Lambert's Self portrait with gladioli 1922.

Luke Scibberas, Hill End NSW, 2004

Artists' space

Magazine article by John McDonald, 2007

Studio: Australian Painters Photographed by R. Ian Lloyd presents 61 of some of Australia’s most respected and significant painters working in the studio environment.

Radical Restraint 
Justice Michael Kirby

Judicial portraits

Magazine article by Leslie Moran, 2007

Leslie Moran investigates the portraits of judges in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

Sketch portrait of Sir Alex Onslow
Sketch portrait of Sir Alex Onslow
Sketch portrait of Sir Alex Onslow

Sketch portrait of Sir Alex Onslow, 1896

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas

Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2006

Aldo Giurgola

A Life in Service

Magazine article by Mandy Martin, 2005

Artist Mandy Martin describes the creation of her portrait of Aldo Giurgola, principal architect of Australia's Parliament House.

Aldo Giurgola
Aldo Giurgola
Aldo Giurgola

Aldo Giurgola, 2005

Mandy Martin
Portrait, ochre, pigment and oil on canvas (triptych)

Gift of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects 2005

Portrait of George Selth Coppin

The Multifarious Career of George Selth Coppin

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2004

George Selth Coppin (1819-1906) comedian, impresario and entrepreneur, was a driving force of the early Australian theatre.

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

Sir Macfarlane Burnet

Picture this...

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.

Decorative portrait – Len Lye, c.1925 by Rayner Hoff (1894-1937)

Presence and Absence

Portrait Sculpture in Australia
Previous exhibition, 2003

This exhibition focuses on exploring national and communal identity through sculptural production in Australia, from the early decades of settlement through to the present day

James Oswald Fairfax

The Fairfax Gift

Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This article examines the portraits gifted to the National Portrait Gallery by Fairfax Holdings in 2003.

Portrait of George Selth Coppin
Portrait of George Selth Coppin
Portrait of George Selth Coppin

Portrait of George Selth Coppin, c. 1895-1899

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on cedar panel

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds donated by Mary Isabel Murphy 2004

Opening of the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth, 9th May 1901
Opening of the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth, 9th May 1901
Opening of the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth, 9th May 1901

Opening of the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth, 9th May 1901, 1903

Tom Roberts, Goupil & Cie
Portrait, photogravure on paper

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Penny Amberg and Andrew Bond 2001
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Sir James Reading Fairfax
Sir James Reading Fairfax
Sir James Reading Fairfax

Sir James Reading Fairfax, 1898

Tom Roberts
Portrait, oil on canvas laid on board

Gift of John Fairfax Holdings Ltd 2002. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Arthur Streeton
Arthur Streeton
Arthur Streeton

Arthur Streeton, c. 1890

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph on original studio backing card

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

Arthur Streeton, Nora Streeton (nee Clench) and Pat, the dog
Arthur Streeton, Nora Streeton (nee Clench) and Pat, the dog
Arthur Streeton, Nora Streeton (nee Clench) and Pat, the dog

Arthur Streeton, Nora Streeton (nee Clench) and Pat, the dog, c. 1909

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph on printed card

Purchased 2001

Charles Conder, Stella Maris Condor and Florence Humphrey at les Petites Dalles, Normandy
Charles Conder, Stella Maris Condor and Florence Humphrey at les Petites Dalles, Normandy
Charles Conder, Stella Maris Condor and Florence Humphrey at les Petites Dalles, Normandy

Charles Conder, Stella Maris Condor and Florence Humphrey at les Petites Dalles, Normandy, 1902

H. Walter Barnett
Portrait, platinum photograph

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2001

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts, 1920

Alice Mills
Portrait, gelatin silver photograph on paper

Gift of Gerard Vaughan 2001

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

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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.

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