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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.

Charles, 2015 video: 7 minutes

Charles, 2015

by Amiel Courtin-Wilson
General content

Winner, DPA 2016

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Captain Charles Ulm

Extraordinary airmen make aviation history


Charles is my wingman

Rod McNicol

Rod McNicol

Winner, National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012
General content

Rod McNicol on photographing Jack Charles.

Marion Borgelt

Time and Line

Now on display in Gallery Seven
General content

Be drawn in to the diversity and longevity of drawing as an intimate and affecting portrait medium. Encompassing the 1820s to the 2020s, Time and Line showcases the depth and extent of our drawing collection – from intricate miniatures in watercolour on ivory to big, bold, contemporary drawings by artists such as Jenny Sages, Charles Blackman and Cherry Hood.

Wild Man, 2005 by Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck

More about In the flesh artists

Ron Mueck grew up in Melbourne and began a career in puppetry and special-effects based in the US and then London. In the mid-1990s Charles Saatchi commissioned four major works including Dead dad, which were exhibited in Saatchi’s exhibition ‘Sensation’ at the Royal Academy, London and which travelled to Berlin and Brooklyn.

Charles (still from video)  by Amiel Courtin-Wilson

The Winner of the Digital Portraiture Award 2016 is...

2 December 2016
Archived media releases 2016

The winner of the Digital Portraiture Award 2016 has been announced. Congratulations to Amiel Courtin-Wilson for his submission titled Charles.

The Brougham

The Brougham


A philosopher-style of beard – thick and lengthy; a greyer, hence wiser version of the Burke; and suited to older men who saw themselves as sagacious or statesmanlike.

HM Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022)

9 September 2022

The National Portrait Gallery is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Throughout her 70-year reign, Her Majesty represented graciousness, humanity and stability during times of enormous social change.

The Lambert

The Lambert


Barbering manuals of the turn of the century might describe this style as a ‘Van Dyck’, named after the Dutch painter Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) who is known to have adopted this look.

The family

Literary lovers’ life liaison


Desire drives forbidden love

Mirka and Philippe - 9 Collins Street

New Australians bring creative wealth

Nearest & Dearest

Melbourne’s iconic culture-shapers

Beadle, Winchester, 1823 by John Dempsey

Beadles, bellmen and bumbles

General content

For Dempsey’s people their occasional encounters with state power would have been largely through the local parish, which administered the ‘Old Poor Law’.

George and Jemima Billet with family

In the most correct style

Nearest & Dearest

Desirable outcomes, undesirable origins

Judith Wright with Barbara Blackman

Friendship’s rhyme and reason

Nearest & Dearest

Poetic trio

Thomas Woolner

The 1850s to the 1880s

Mo and beard timeline

The restrained and cultivated facial hair fashions evident through the first decades of the 1800s were on the wane by the middle of the century, when hirsute faces became mainstream.

Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol

Rod McNicol

18 June 2015
Archived media releases 2015

Australian photographer Rod McNicol has consistently analysed the passing of time through the evidence of the photographic portrait. At once confronting and tender, McNicol’s portrait photographs are bold and intimate.

Billy the match man, Liverpool, 1844 by John Dempsey

Rare Set of Watercolour Paintings on Display for the First Time

15 June 2017
Archived media releases 2017

A rare and enchanting collection of 52 portraits of British street people will be on display for the first time in the National Portrait Gallery’s winter show, Dempsey’s People: a folio of British street portraits 1824-1844.

Bathing woman, Bridlington, c.1825 by John Dempsey

Allow me to introduce...

General content

These full-length figures in watercolour, gouache and pencil date mostly from the 1820s, and almost all come from the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown

Australian Love Stories

4 January 2021
Archived media releases 2021

A major new exhibition celebrating love in all its guises. Opening 20 March 2021.

spaces between movement and stillness

Harriet Schwarzrock: spaces between movement and stillness

10 February 2021
Archived media releases 2021

To celebrate the new exhibition Australian Love Stories, renowned Australian glass artist Harriet Schwarzrock has been commissioned to make a large-scale installation reflecting on the role the heart plays as our emotional centre.

Janet Dawson, 2016 by Mark Mohell

Janet Dawson

Explore The Popular Pet Show

When soulmates Janet Dawson and Michael Boddy moved from Sydney to a property, Boddy was clear about why: ‘Our marriage is one long conversation - we moved to the bush so we could talk to each other without so many interruptions.’

Shakespeare to Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London

Announcing Shakespeare to Winehouse

24 November 2021
Archived media releases 2021

More than eighty treasures from the National Portrait Gallery London will travel to Canberra for a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from March 2022.

Eden, 2011 by Arianne McNaught

Arianne McNaught

NPPP 2012 learning resource

An interview with the photographer.

Kristin Headlam with Basil, 2016 by Mark Mohell

Kristin Headlam

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Basil grew into a speckled beauty – a long-legged leaper and an exceptionally vocal dog, with a great register of sounds, ascending in shock value from a whimper to a growl to a bark to a yelp that’s a violation of the ears.

image not online

Portrait Donors

Listed by year
Honour board
Dr Anne Sanders

Less than six degrees of separation

Lecture, 28 May 2011
General content

Dr Anne Sanders NPG Curatorial Researcher investigated the lives of the pioneering psychologists whose portraits are featured in Inner Worlds.

Barry Humphries

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling
General content

Sarah Engledow writes about Gordon and Marilyn Darling and their support for the National Portrait Gallery throughout its evolution.

National Portrait Gallery


About us

How the National Portrait Gallery and its unique collection came to be

Nicholas Harding, 2016 Mark Mohell

Nicholas Harding

Explore The Popular Pet Show

Over the years the young Nicholas Harding got his hands on various mice and guinea pigs, but they served mainly to illustrate the concept of mortality. 

George Reid paperweight

Some prime ministers

General content

Sarah Engledow explores the history of the prime ministers and artists featured in the exhibition.

Trevor Jamieson, 2016 by Brett Canet-Gibson

The more things change...

NPPP 2017 exhibition essay
General content

Dr Sarah Engledow, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2017 Prize.

© 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