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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.

‘Untitled’ - Yellow Kangaroo Paw, 2008 by Christian Thompson

The 'I' in Indigenous art

Magazine article by Jane Raffan, 2013

Jane Raffan examines unique styles of Indigenous portraiture that challenge traditional Western concepts of the artform.

Portrait of Cate Blanchett

The transparent mask

Magazine article by Karen Vickery, 2015

Cate Blanchett and the art of acting in Rosetzky’s digital portrait.

Basil steps out, 2016 by Kristin Headlam
Courtesy the artist and Charles Nodrum Gallery

Kristin Headlam

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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.

Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785

Sea legged frogs

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Joanna Gilmour describes some of the stories of the individuals and incidents that define French exploration of Australia and the Pacific.

Barry Humphries

Talking heads

About Face article

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

[Self-portrait], 1996


Magazine article by Helen Ennis, 2007

The exhibition Reveries: Photography and mortality is a powerful display which brings together images that depict the last phase of people's lives.

Bed piece, 1972 by Chris Burden

The boy, the bed and the gun

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2016

Christopher Chapman contemplates the provocative performance art of Chris Burden. 

Sam and the Perfect World, 2005

The news from Washington

Magazine article by Lauretta Morton, 2006

Australia's former Cultural Attache to the USA, Ron Ramsey, describes the mood at the opening week of the revitalised American National Portrait Gallery.

Margot Rhys, 1935 by Athol Shmith

Progressive pictures

Magazine article by Aimee Board, 2017

Athol Shmith’s photographs contributed to the emergence of a new vision of Australian womanhood.

Portrait of Florence Broadhurst

Be bold

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2007

The name of Florence Broadhurst, one of Australia’s most significant wallpaper and textile designers, is now firmly cemented in the canon of Australian art and design.

Vincent Brady leading anti Bicentenary Protest, Brisbane, 1987 Michael Aird

Activating the space

Magazine article by Sandra Phillips, 2020

Sandra Phillips on portraits of Indigenous activism from Cairns Art Gallery’s 2019 Queen’s Land Blak Portraiture exhibition.


National Portrait Gallery


About us

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

In the Lounge, 2006 by North Sullivan

Seduce, Amuse, Entertain

NPPP 2007 exhibition essay
General content

Michael Desmond, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2007 Prize.

The hunting lodge, 2007

Seduce Amuse Entertain

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond profiles a handful of the entrants in first National Photographic Portrait Prize and notes emerging themes and categories.

Miss Alesandra, 2010

The more things change

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

National Photographic Portrait Prize curator, Sarah Engledow, finds reward in a difficult task and ultimately uncovers the essence of portraiture.

Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to the Rev. John Gower, 1851

Essential portraiture

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond in conversation with University of Houston professor of philosophy Cynthia Freeland.

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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