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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.

What's on

Friday 1 October – Saturday 30 October 2021

Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019

Collection display galleries

Exhibition open every day

The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia.

The Writer, Peter Goldsworthy
The Writer, Peter Goldsworthy
The Writer, Peter Goldsworthy
The Writer, Peter Goldsworthy

Portrait play takeaway

10:00am, Daily until Tue 30 Nov

Become an adventurer and make a gadget to help you on your journey around the Gallery! Explore the portraits on display through close looking and creative activity.

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2021

Exhibition closes 16 January

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Bookings required
Potters' Portrait Pot
Potters' Portrait Pot
Potters' Portrait Pot
Potters' Portrait Pot

Critters from coast to country

3:30pm, Fri 1 Oct
Live online

Discover some of the wonderful creatures that live in Australia and on our portraits. Birds, fish, marsupials, amphibians, snakes, lizards – we’ve got them all.

Bookings required
Study for portrait of Helen Garner
Study for portrait of Helen Garner
Study for portrait of Helen Garner
Study for portrait of Helen Garner

Virtual highlights tour

The starting line

12:30pm, Tue 5 Oct
Live online

Hey presto, it's done! Making a portrait is rarely so easy. Join us as we look at initial sketches of works in the collection, and get an insight into the creative process.

Bookings required
Hugs on hold, 2019 Sandy Scheltema
Hugs on hold, 2019 Sandy Scheltema
Hugs on hold, 2019 Sandy Scheltema
Hugs on hold, 2019 Sandy Scheltema

Capturing a global mood

National Portrait Galleries In Conversation

7:00pm, Tue 5 Oct
Live online

The power of the photograph and how the exhibitions Hold Still/Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize reflect identity and our shared human experiences at this unique point in history.

Bookings required
Maggie Tabberer
Maggie Tabberer
Maggie Tabberer
Maggie Tabberer

In Conversation

Down the rabbit hole

12:30pm, Thu 7 Oct
Live online

Come on a journey behind the scenes, into the woods and reaching for the stars with Penny Grist Curator, Exhibitions. You decide what path through the collection she takes by voting on which way to turn.

Bookings required
Mem Fox
Mem Fox
Mem Fox
Mem Fox

Story time

Possum Magic with Mem Fox

3:30pm, Fri 8 Oct
Live online

Looking to go on an adventure across Australia? Tune in for a reading of  the treasured classic, ‘Possum Magic’ read by Mem Fox.

Bookings required

Mindfulness Monday

Slow Looking

12:30pm, Mon 11 Oct
Live online

Mindfulness Monday is an opportunity to come together as a community and practice looking, talking, listening, and engaging with art and each other.

Bookings required
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC
Marilyn Darling AC

Virtual highlights tour

Going door to door

12:30pm, Tue 12 Oct
Live online

As we look forward to flinging open our doors from the comfort/containment of our own houses into the big, wide world, join us as to take a look at the role and concept of 'the door' within portraiture. Come on in!

Bookings required
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait
Self portrait

In Conversation

Chance encounters

12:30pm, Thu 14 Oct
Live online

Our Curator, Collection & Research, Joanna Gilmour, has thrown caution to the wind and suggested she play a game of chance.

Bookings required
Guy Warren
Guy Warren
Guy Warren
Guy Warren

In Conversation

The Guy in the picture

To be rescheduled
Live online

Join us from wherever you are for a lively discussion looking at the amazing career of centenarian artist, Guy Warren.

Bookings closed

Mindfulness Monday

Slow Looking

12:30pm, Mon 18 Oct
Live online

Mindfulness Monday is an opportunity to come together as a community and practice looking, talking, listening, and engaging with art and each other.

Bookings required
The black coat: Lily Brett
The black coat: Lily Brett
The black coat: Lily Brett
The black coat: Lily Brett

Virtual highlights tour

Knowing me, knowing you

12:30pm, Tue 19 Oct
Live online

Convenient or muse? Artists often make portraits of people they love and live with. Join us to take a close up and personal look at works that capture the intimate and familiar relationship between artist and sitter.

Bookings required
Lucy Culliton
Lucy Culliton
Lucy Culliton
Lucy Culliton

In Conversation

Birds-eye view

12:30pm, Thu 21 Oct
Live online

Jump in the nest and join the brood as we celebrate National Bird Week! We’ll take a birds-eye view of the collection, and explore faces of folks with their feathered friends. BYO binoculars.

Bookings required

Mindfulness Monday

Slow Looking

12:30pm, Mon 25 Oct
Live online

Mindfulness Monday is an opportunity to come together as a community and practice looking, talking, listening, and engaging with art and each other.

Bookings required
Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan

Virtual highlights tour

The noisemakers

12:30pm, Tue 26 Oct
Live online

Portraiture is traditionally a silent, static medium, so how do we celebrate those who are known for making sound? Join us as we turn it up to eleven for an exploration of works featuring some well loved noisemakers.

Bookings required
Matilda (Ngambri)
Matilda (Ngambri)
Matilda (Ngambri)
Matilda (Ngambri)

In Conversation

Considering Representation

12:30pm, Thu 28 Oct
Live online

Join Associate Curator Rebecca Ray and Director Collection and Exhibitions Sandra Bruce for a conversation on the presence of First Nations people in portraiture today.

Bookings required
Mr Tim
Mr Tim
Mr Tim
Mr Tim

Drawn in with Mr Tim

3:30pm, Fri 29 Oct
Live online

Join us from wherever you are for a musical adventure with the fabulous Mr Tim! He will excite and delight our family audience with his combination of rock, folk, funk, a touch of country, and what can only be described as hypnotic Transylvanian polka.

Bookings required

More events

Sunday 31 October – Sunday 28 November 2021
© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
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