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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.

Best of British

Contemporary Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, London

Previous exhibition
from Friday 17 November 2000 until Sunday 18 February 2001

For the first hundred years or so of its existence, The National Portrait Gallery in London had no contemporary collection at all.

Sir Richard Branson, 1999 by David Mach (b. 1956)
Sir Richard Branson, 1999 by David Mach (b. 1956)

Founded by act of parliament in 1856, the Gallery had a brief to collect the likenesses of famous British historical figures. In trying to find a way to acknowledge lasting eminence, but exclude ephemeral celebrity, the trustees decided that with the sole exception of the reigning sovereign, subjects included not only had to be dead, but dead for ten years.

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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