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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.

Brooke Lockett, Heidi Martin, Karen Nanasca, Halaina Hills; New York, 2012 Lisa Tomasetti

Dance like everyone’s watching

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Penelope Grist’s spirits soar with Lisa Tomasetti’s Dancers in the Streets series.

Little John of Colchester, a poor lunatic, c.1823 by John Dempsey

Dempsey's people

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Those of you who are active in social media circles may be aware that through the past week I have unleashed a blitz on Facebook and Instagram in connection with our new winter exhibition Dempsey’s People: A Folio of British Street Portraits, 1824−1844.

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.

Cover, first minute book of the Tasmanian Society of Natural History

Embrace your inner nerd

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The southern winter has arrived. For people in the northern hemisphere (the majority of humanity) the idea of snow and ice, freezing mist and fog in June, potentially continuing through to August and beyond, encapsulates the topsy-turvidom of our southern continent.

The Dance - David McAllister

Home is where the art is

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Tedi Bills on how social media in the age of COVID-19 has fanned the flames of our portrait fascination.

Trumble's way

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At the end of a summer break one is tempted to say that there is nothing much to report. Isn’t one restful holiday very much like another?

20/20 launch speech

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Dr Helen Nugent AO, Chairman, National Portrait Gallery at the opening of 20/20: Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions.

Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and David R. L. Litchfield at Villa Favorita, Lugano, Switzerland, 1989 © Nicola Graydo

The Thyssen Art Macabre

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Books seldom make me angry but this one did. At first, I was powerfully struck by the uncanny parallels that existed between the Mellons of Pittsburgh and the Thyssens of the Ruhr through the same period, essentially the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

Barry Humphries

Talking heads

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In their own words lead researcher Louise Maher on the novel project that lets the Gallery’s portraits speak for themselves.

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

Of plague and portraits

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

Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence

The play’s the thing

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Penelope Grist charts an immersive path through Stuart Spence’s photography.

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

The Rothschilds, the Montefiores, and the Victorian Gold Rush

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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.

© 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