Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery has been housed in its splendid new building on King Edward’s Terrace since December 2008. The idea for such a gallery was first mooted by the Australian painter, Tom Roberts (1856-1931), in the early 1900s, but it was not until Gordon Darling (1921-2015) and his wife Marilyn staged the exhibition, Uncommon Australians, in 1992, that the idea of a gallery took shape. It was originally housed in the library and two wings of the Old Parliament Building from 1998 until 2008. This building was designed by Johnson Pilton Walker. The permanent collection contains over 3,000 portraits in a range of mediums, from painting, drawing, photography, multimedia, sculpture and textiles.
Australia’s identity, history, creativity, culture and diversity is discovered via portraiture and stories. The museum is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm except for 25 December.