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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.

Mirka - 9 Collins Street

Wicked but Virtuous

About Face article

Faith Stellmaker shares pioneering artist and restaurateur Mirka Mora’s lasting legacy on Melbourne’s art, dining and culture.

Sir Douglas Mawson

Staying home

True south #2
About Face article

Joanna Gilmour brings a mindful Douglas Mawson’s perspective to bear on the concept of isolation.

Olegas Truchanas

Giving a dam

True south #1
About Face article

Ensconced and meditative in crisp Tasmania, Joanna Gilmour pays tribute to passionate green advocate and photographer Olegas Truchanas.

Mural of Italian/Roman actress Anna Magnani (1908­–1973) with face mask, April 2020 Unknown artist

Of plague and portraits

About Face article

Corinna Cullen on the symbolic power of pandemic-related imagery over the ages.

The eye and the heart

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Nici Cumpston immerses herself in the collective vision of the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020.

Christmas Island

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This is my last Trumbology before, in a little more than a week from now, I pass to my successor Karen Quinlan the precious baton of the Directorship of the National Portrait Gallery.

Queen Alexandra and Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia, Hvidore, circa 1908 by Mary Steen

The cost of living luxuriously

About Face article

In 1904, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia purchased as a gift for her sister, Queen Alexandra, a fan composed of two-color gold, guilloché enamel, mother-of-pearl, blond tortoiseshell, gold sequins, silk, cabochon rubies, and rose diamonds from the House of Fabergé in Saint Petersburg.

The National Portrait Gallery's 20th birthday party

The National Portrait Gallery's 20th Anniversary

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Last month we marked the twentieth anniversary of the formal establishment of the National Portrait Gallery, the tenth of the opening of our signature building, and the fifth of our having become a statutory authority under Commonwealth legislation.

The stately lotus

About Face article

I spent much of my summer holiday at D’Omah, on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. Lotus and waterlilies sprout in extraordinary profusion in artful ponds amid palms and deep scarlet ginger flowers.

An evening at Yarra Cottage, Port Stephens

Maria Caroline Brownrigg

About Face article

At first glance, this small watercolour group portrait of her two sons and four daughters by Maria Caroline Brownrigg (d. 1880) may seem prosaic, even hesitant

Forest Creek, Mount Alexander Diggings, 1852 by S. T. Gill

The Rothschilds, the Montefiores, and the Victorian Gold Rush

About Face article

Some years ago my colleague Andrea Wolk Rager and I spent several days in the darkened basement of a Rothschild Bank, inspecting every one of the nearly 700 autochromes created immediately before World War I by the youthful Lionel de Rothschild.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Signed and dated 1843 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Queen Victoria

About Face article

Last Sunday I had the privilege of appearing at the Canberra Writers’ Festival in conversation with Julia Baird. The subject of our session was Julia’s recent biography, Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman who Ruled an Empire.

Asiel Timor Dei, ca. 1728 by a master of Calamarca

The Viceroyalty of New Spain

About Face article

European painters always enjoyed a good deal of latitude in the representation of angels, those asexual, bodiless, celestial regiments of God, so long as they were young and beautiful.

Luke and Nacoya, 2016 by Daniel Sponiar

The National Photographic Portrait Prize turns ten

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It is now a little more than 178 years since the French Academy of Sciences was made aware of the invention of the daguerreotype process.

Angus Trumble and Brownie

A bear of great substance

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Just in time for Christmas, Angus reflects on the most special present he has ever received.

Helena Rubinstein in a red brocade Balenciaga gown

Crème Valaze

From lanolin to Balenciaga
About Face article

Helena Rubinstein (1872‒1965) was the first self-made millionairess of modern times, and created the first publicly-listed global cosmetics corporation. 

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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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