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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.

Portrait of Captain James Cook RN

Robert Oatley AO

1928–2016
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The National Portrait Gallery mourns the loss of one our most generous benefactors, Robert Oatley AO.

Angus Trumble with Portrait of Sir Joseph Banks by Thomas Phillips

Banksia and grevillea

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Portraits can render honour to remarkable men and women, but there are other ways.

Portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Tribute: Mary Isabel Murphy

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

Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1885–1931)

The Pavlova

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It is a painful truth, but one which must be faced up to, that the pavlova, that iconic Australian dessert, a staple since the 1930s, was actually invented in New Zealand.

Gough Whitlam

Prime Ministers

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On the day before the Hon. E. G. Whitlam, AC, QC, died last month, at the great age of 98, there were seven former prime ministers of Australia still living, plus the incumbent Mr. Abbott – eight in all.

Cocky McGrath

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The long life and few words of a vice-regal cockatoo

Untitled, Conductors, Tramways series, 1990 © Matt Nettheim

Back track

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Penelope Grist finds photographer Matt Nettheim re-visiting a formative and fulfilling career tram stop.

Indexing, the art of

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The first index I created was for my first book, and, to my astonishment, that was almost twenty-five years ago.

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.

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.

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.

An evening at Yarra Cottage, Port Stephens

Maria Caroline Brownrigg

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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

Group photograph taken at the coronation of King George VI including Queen Elizabeth II, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Queen Mother, 12 May 1937 by Hay Wrightson

Poise and Carats

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I keep going back to Cartier: The Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia next door, and, within the exhibition, to Princess Marie Louise’s diamond, pearl and sapphire Indian tiara (1923), surely one of the most superb head ornaments ever conceived.

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.

© 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