Visitors will be surprised to see…

Canberra’s own acting superstar Mia Wasikowska in our new exhibition, Women in Vogue: Celebrating 60 years in Australia (11 October - 24 November). You also might spy the iconic red shoes of ANU’s next Chancellor, Julie Bishop, in there too!

Black and white Elle Macpherson portrait.
Women in Vogue showcases 60 years of portraits of powerful women, including this iconic photograph of Elle MacPherson taken by Andrew MacPherson (image supplied courtesy of the artist).

My favourite piece in the National Portrait Gallery’s art collection is…

It's impossible to choose. I don’t have any favourites - as the professional Director of the Gallery, I admire them all. However, on a personal level and with my purely subjective hat on, I will always admire portraits of strong females and there are countless examples in the collection.

The strangest question that has been asked during a tour is…

One that our expert Learning Facilitators are often asked by school children visiting the Portrait Gallery for the first time - "do you have the Mona Lisa?". 

After visitors have been on a tour of the National Portrait Gallery, I’d recommend they go to...

As many of the other amazing cultural attractions as they have time for. Canberra has an absolute wealth of history and culture to take in. Most are within walking distance of the National Portrait Gallery, starting with the National Gallery of Australia just across the bridge where you can find the national collection of  Australian and international art.  

The National Portrait Gallery set against a bright blue sky.
The National Portrait Gallery is just a short walk from Lake Burley Griffin.

When friends visit Canberra, I usually take them to…

Lake Burley Griffin. As an avid runner, I usually do the popular ‘bridge to bridge’ run (Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to Kings Avenue Bridge) along with many other Canberra locals. It is so serene, especially early in the morning or at twilight, and now that we’re heading into the warmer months, the gardens in Commonwealth Park will be a spectacular retreat. 

Where will you be served up the most unbelievable breakfast in Canberra?

Just about any café in the inner South. Silo Bakery and Cafe is one of my favourites in Kingston. I’m enjoying trying out all the amazing places to eat in Canberra since I moved here in December last year. I’m also quite partial to the Broadbean Café menu at the Portrait Gallery!

What’s new at the gallery?

The National Portrait Gallery temporarily shut its doors to refurbish our gallery but in early September 2019 we will reopen with an exciting exhibition program. Women In Vogue (11 October - 24 November) will celebrate 60 years of this extraordinary publication.  Over summer we will have a permanent collection hang featuring new acquisitions and some faces that the public will be familiar with.

2020 will be a very exciting year with the commencement of a revitalised exhibition program that will be broadly based around the four seasons.  We will have a clear distinction between major and minor exhibitions, national and international content, and permanent collection and exhibitions drawn from the collection that are timed strategically within the calendar.  This approach will also align the Darling Portrait Prize and the National Photographic Portrait Prize as one program in autumn, followed by a sensational international exhibition during winter. 

Look into the eyes of over 400 people who've shaped the nation at the National Portrait Gallery (open daily 10am to 5pm, excluding Christmas Day).