National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place
London
Greater London
WC2H 0HE
England

Website

www.npg.org.uk

E-mail

dsaywell@npg.org.uk

Telephone

Recorded Information

020 7312 2463

020 7306 0055

Fax

020 7306 0056

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
National Portrait Gallery, London
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The National Portrait Gallery, founded in 1856, is home to the largest collection of portraits in the world, with works dating from the Middle Ages to the present day.

With over 1,000 portraits on display visitors can come face to face with the people who have shaped British history and culture, from Elizabeth I and Charles Dickens to The Beatles and David Beckham. Artists featured range from Holbein to Hockney, and the Collection includes work across all media, from painting and sculpture to photography and video.

Venue Type:

Gallery

Opening hours

Daily 10.00-18.00
Gallery closure commences at 17.50
Thursday & Friday until 21.00
Gallery closure commences at 20.50

Closed: 24-26 December

Admission charges

Admission to the Gallery is FREE
An admission fee is charged for some exhibitions

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Additional info

Evening Openings

The Gallery is open on Thursday and Friday evenings until 21.00. In addition to being able to view the Collection and exhibitions, special lectures (in English only) are held on Thursday evenings and free music events on Friday evenings.

The Collection is displayed chronologically, beginning with the earliest Tudor portraits on the top floor, the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, through to the Victorians and early 20th century on the first floor and finishing with the most contemporary part of the collection on the ground floor.

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • In addition to the Main Collection, a programme of special temporary exhibitions and displays runs throughout the year.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of national portrait gallery

Ben Okri on Ayuba Suleiman Diallo: A Dialogue Across Time

  • 20 September 2013 — 27 July 2014 *on now

The eighteenth-century portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo is the earliest known British portrait of a freed slave. Fascinated with Diallo’s enigmatic story, poet Ben Okri responds to the subject in a new poem, ‘Diallo’s Testament’ as part of his involvement in the portrait’s tour of partner venues around the UK.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, after Hans Holbein the Younger, early 17th century (1533-1534)

Hans Holbein Re-made: Copies and Versions of Portraits from the Tudor Court

  • 4 March — 31 August 2014 *on now

During Henry VIII’s reign Hans Holbein the Younger undertook many portraits of prominent individuals at court, such as Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More and William Warham. In the years that followed these images came to be prized not only as depictions of illustrious men, but also for Holbein’s skill as an artist. As a result they were frequently copied, with artists producing paintings that faithfully mimicked both the composition and colouration of the original portraits. The number of surviving works of this type suggest that there was a lively market for such paintings during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James VI and I.

This display will bring together a selection of the Gallery’s copies of Holbein’s portraits, all of which have undergone technical analysis as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project. This research has revealed new information about how and when they were made, and about the techniques that were used to ensure that the finished works skilfully evoked the originals.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/display/2014/hans-holbein-re-made-copies-and-versions-of-portraits-from-the-tudor-court.php

Naval Officers of World War I

The Naval Officers

  • 10 May — 12 October 2014 *on now

Naval Officers of World War I by Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope is one of three large group portraits commissioned by the South African financier Sir Abraham (‘Abe’) Bailey in the aftermath of the Great War. The other two portraits, Statesmen of World War 1 by Sir John Lavery and General Officers of World War 1 by John Singer Sargent are on permanent display in Room 30. Owing to poor condition, Naval Officers has not been seen for several decades. However, following a recent successful appeal for necessary funds to restore the work, the present display returns this important painting to public view.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson

Jean Woods by Richard Twose

BP Portrait Award 2014

  • 26 June — 21 September 2014 *on now

The Portrait Award, which celebrates its twenty-fifth year of sponsorship by BP in 2014, showcases the most outstanding and innovative new portraits from around the world. From informal and personal studies of friends and family to revealing paintings of famous faces, the exhibition features a variety of styles and approaches to the contemporary painted portrait. The fifty-five portraits on display, selected from a record-breaking 2,377 entries, include the three shortlisted artists as well as the winners of the BP Young Artist 2014 and the BP Travel Award 2013.

Now in its thirty-fifth consecutive year at the National Portrait Gallery, the Portrait Award is the most prestigious international portrait painting competition and the free exhibition continues to be an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar.

The exhibition will again be complemented by BP Portrait Award: Next Generation – a series of workshops and online resources that offer young people new opportunities for learning and creativity through portraiture.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/bp-portrait-award-2014.php

photograph of T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf by Lady Ottoline Morrell

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision

  • 10 July — 26 October 2014 *on now

Guest curated by biographer Frances Spalding, Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision will explore Woolf as a novelist, intellectual, campaigner and public figure. The exhibition looks at Woolf’s early life, literary interests and remarkable achievements, her fascination with London, awareness of modernity, and her developing feminist and political views. These are brought into focus through in-depth research and an array of archival material, including letters to and from her friends and acquaintances, extracts from her personal diaries, and original books that were first printed through the Hogarth Press.

Highlights of the exhibition include distinctive portraits of Woolf by her Bloomsbury Group contemporaries, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry, as well as a collection of photographs by Beresford, Man Ray, and Beck and McGregor who photographed Woolf for Vogue. The exhibition will also feature portraits of those she was closest to, including a selection of intimate images recording her time spent with friends, family and literary peers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adult £7.00 (with Gift Aid)
Seniors £6.50/Concessions £6.00

Website

http://www.​npg.​org.​uk

photograph of Satchel used by Morris to carry books and lectures

Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, 1860-1960

  • 16 October 2014 — 11 January 2015

‘I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.’

Anarchy & Beauty explores the life and ideas of the great Victorian artist, writer and visionary thinker William Morris. Through portraits, personal items and fascinating objects, many of which will be on public display for the first time, this major exhibition illustrates Morris’s concept of ‘art for the people’ and highlights the achievements of those that he inspired.

Curated by acclaimed author and biographer Fiona MacCarthy, the display features original furniture and textiles designed and owned by Morris as well as the work of his contemporaries including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. These will be innovatively showcased alongside remarkable books, jewellery, ceramics and clothing by craftspeople such as Eric Gill, Bernard Leach and Terence Conran, demonstrating how Morris’s legacy continued into the twentieth century, influencing radical politics, the Garden City movement and the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets including Gift Aid £14.00 Senior citizens (aged 60 and over) £13.00, Concs £12.00 Family: one/two adults or concessions and up to four children (aged 12–18) £20/£29

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/anarchy-beauty-william-morris-and-his-legacy-1860-1960/home.php

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
photograph of national portrait gallery

Resident DJ: Edward Otchere

  • 31 July 2014 6-8pm
  • 14 August 2014 6-8pm
  • 28 August 2014 6-8pm

Enjoy a vinyl set inspired by the portraits on display.

Suitable for

  • Any age
photograph of national portrait gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 25 July 2014 6:30-8:30pm
  • 1 August 2014 6:30-8:30pm
  • 8 August 2014 6:30-8:30pm
  • 15 August 2014 6:30-8:30pm
  • 22 August 2014 6:30-8:30pm
  • 29 August 2014 6:30-8:30pm

Take inspiration from the portraits and sketch in the Gallery in this artist-led session. Part of London Creativity and Wellbeing Week.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
photograph of national portrait gallery

Portrait of the Day

  • 26 — 27 July 2014 12-1pm
  • 2 — 3 August 2014 12-1pm
  • 9 — 10 August 2014 12-1pm
  • 16 — 17 August 2014 12-1pm
  • 23 — 24 August 2014 12-1pm
  • 30 — 31 August 2014 12-1pm

A talk on a chosen portrait in the Gallery's Collection.

Please check signage on the day for details.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
photograph of national portrait gallery

Guest DJ

  • 24 July 2014 6-8pm
  • 7 August 2014 6-8pm
  • 21 August 2014 6-8pm

Listen and unwind at the Late Shift bar.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

The Sunday Sessions

http://www.npg.org.uk/learning/young.php

The Sunday Sessions are part of the Young People's Programme for 14-21 year olds. All sessions are free and explore aspects of portraiture in exciting and innovative ways, drawing inspiration from the collection or temporary exhibitions.

How to obtain

For more information email youthbookings@npg.org.uk or call 020 7312 2483.

Family Art Events

http://www.npg.org.uk/learning/families.php

On the 3rd Saturday of every month, explore portraits from the National Portrait Gallery's collection, then take part in an art activity. Workshops are at 11.30 and 14.30 and last approximately 90 minutes.

How to obtain

Pick up a free ticket to attend the sessions, available one hour before it starts from the Information Desk in the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall. Spaces are allocated first come, first served and children must be accompanied by an adult.

National Portrait Gallery Webquests

http://www.npg.org.uk/webquests/

Webquests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.

Storytelling for Families

http://www.npg.org.uk/learning/families.php

Third Saturday of every month, join our storytellers for monthly drop-in storytelling sessions in the Gallery, inspired by the Collection. Suitable for children aged 3+ and their carers.

How to obtain

No ticket required. Meet in the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall. These sessions are free and will last about 30 minutes.

Youth Forum

http://www.npg.org.uk/learning/young.php

Youth Forum is part of The National Portrait Gallery's Young People's Programme for 14-21 year olds. All sessions are free and explore aspects of portraiture in exciting and innovative ways, drawing inspiration from the collection and temporary exhibitions. Youth Forum meets on a Thursday evening once a month.

How to obtain

For more information or to join Youth Forum, contact Rachel Moss, Young People's Programme Manager on rmoss@npg.org.uk.

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