National Portrait Gallery partnership

03 Jun 2022

National Portrait Gallery partnership featured image

The Trust is delighted to announce a new visual arts partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.

The National Portrait Gallery is the youngest of our national cultural institutions, even though the idea of an Australia national portrait gallery is more than a century old.

One of the roles of the National Portrait Gallery is to develop and engage a national audience for its collection, exhibitions, education, research, publications and public and online programs. The Trust is looking forward to collaborating with the Gallery to promote the benefits that a Churchill Fellowship – an opportunity to travel overseas for four to eight weeks to explore a topic or issue – could provide for artists and others working within the arts sector.

Shakespeare to Winehouse exhibition

Our visual arts partnership is being launched in conjunction with the Shakespeare to Winehouse exhibition.

This exhibition of over 80 treasured works is normally housed at the National Portrait Gallery in London. We have a special opportunity to see this collection of famous faces from the sixteenth century to today, while the London gallery undergoes renovations. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity – showing exclusively at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

The portraits in Shakespeare to Winehouse are displayed according to a series of themes that are intrinsic to portraiture – fame, identity, self, innovation, power, love and loss. The section on identity includes an informal portrait of Sir Winston Churchill.

The oil on canvas portrait, by artist Walter Sickert, was completed when Churchill was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1927. Although Sickert was giving Churchill painting lessons that he said helped him ‘to paint far better pictures than I ever thought possible before’, he apparently didn’t like this portrait and gave it away soon after it had been presented to him.

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