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.
painting of Queen Elizabeth I

The Real Tudors

  • 12 September 2014 — 1 March 2015 *on now

This special display allows visitors to rediscover the well-known Tudor monarchs through the most complete presentation of their portraiture staged to date.

Works from the Gallery’s Collection are presented alongside exceptional loans and a prized possession of each monarch, as well as recent research undertaken as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project, to help visitors understand how and why such images were made. The search for a ‘real’ portrait of Lady Jane Grey in the sixteenth century is also explored through the display of a commemorative portrait of Jane that dates from the Elizabethan period.

Following its London run The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered will form the core of a larger exhibition organised in partnership with Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, in 2015.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/realtudors/display.php

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 *on now

‘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

painting of man and woman sitting by a fountain. The woman is painting

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

  • 12 February — 25 May 2015

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was the greatest portrait painter of his generation. Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, he was closely connected to many of the other leading artists, writers, actors and musicians of the time. His portraits of these friends and contemporaries, including Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet and Robert Louis Stevenson, were rarely commissioned and allowed him to create more intimate and experimental works than was possible in his formal portraiture.

This major exhibition of over seventy portraits spans Sargent’s time in London, Paris and Boston as well as his travels in the Italian and English countryside. Important loans from galleries and private collections in Europe and America make this an unmissable opportunity to discover the artist’s most daring, personal and distinctive portraits.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Tickets, including donation:
Full price £16
Concessions £14.50

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/sargent/home.php

painting of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions

  • 12 March — 7 June 2015

Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions, the first gallery exhibition devoted to the Duke of Wellington, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815).

The Duke of Wellington’s long life (1769 –1852) spanned the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most famous for his military career which culminated with victory over Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo, Wellington later entered politics, serving twice as Prime Minister. The exhibition will explore these aspects of his character as well as his personal life, and illustrate the role of visual culture in creating the hero and the importance of the portrait in Wellington’s own public and private self-representation.

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/2015/wellington-triumphs-politics-and-passions.php

a photo of a woman wearing a pink dress next to pink flowers

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

  • 2 July — 18 October 2015

This fascinating photographic exhibition illustrates the life of actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). From her early years as a chorus girl in London’s West End through to her philanthropic work in later life, Portraits of an Icon will celebrate one of the world’s most photographed and recognisable stars.

A selection of more than sixty images will define Hepburn’s iconography, including classic and rarely seen prints from leading twentieth-century photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Angus McBean, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn. Alongside these, an array of vintage magazine covers, film stills, and extraordinary archival material will complete her captivating story.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Tickets, including donation:
Full price £10
Concessions £8.50

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/hepburn/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.
National Portrait Gallery

The Drawing Room

  • 29 December 2014 1-3pm
  • 26 January 2015 1-3pm
  • 23 February 2015 From 1pm

Drop-in drawing session for disabled visitors. Meet in the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 2 January 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Start your New Year resolution now and learn to draw at our free, friendly artist-led drawing class in the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music Jeremy Reed & The Ginger Light

  • 2 January 2015 From 6:30pm

The dynamic and adventurous poet lifts the New Year blues into purples and oranges in his collaboration with sonic soundscaper Itchy Ear.

National Portrait Gallery

Young People’s Sunday Session: Better Cameraphone Portraiture

  • 4 January 2015 1-4pm

Learn how to make the most of your cameraphone and improve your photography. Take inspiration from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 and pick-up hints and tips on telling stories through your own portraits with photographer Anthony Luvera and mobile expert Richard Gray.

National Portrait Gallery

Lecture: If I Can: Crafting Beauty

  • 8 January 2015 From 7pm

William Morris’s first embroidery If I Can borrowed Jan van Eyck’s motto ‘alles ich kann’. This sense of fearlessness is at the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement, a crossing of boundaries between work and life. Artist and writer Edmund de Waal reflects on how craft crosses disciplines and how these pioneers still influence making and writing today.

Admission

£7/£6

National Portrait Gallery

Guest DJ

  • 8 January 2015 From 6pm

Thursday is the new Friday so grab a drink at the pop-up bar and enjoy our DJ in the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 9 January 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Drop-in Drawing
Join our community of artists and learn more about portraiture at our free artist-led drawing class in the Gallery.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
National Portrait Gallery

Live Music: Melissa James

  • 9 January 2015 From 6:30pm

Returning to the Gallery to give another soulful performance, Melissa James has been described as ‘Roberta Flack cross[ing] paths with blues man Eric Bibb’.

National Portrait Gallery

Weekend Workshop: The Art of Portrait Photography

  • 10 — 11 January 2015 11am-5pm

This two-day workshop led by photographer Eddie Otchere explores studio and street portrait photography using film cameras. Employing various frame formats to explore the diverging tonalities and compositional constraints of portrait photography, the workshop teaches you how to examine your point of view and understand how your choices define the results. Film cameras and assistance provided by Film’s not Dead.

Admission

£125/£100

National Portrait Gallery

Lecture: The Tudors as seen in Nineteenth- Century Art: Histories and Fictions

  • 15 January 2015 From 7pm

Professor Stephen Bann investigates the visual re-imaginings of the Tudor dynasty in the early nineteenth century in Britain and France.

Admission

£7/£6

National Portrait Gallery

Resident DJ Eddie Otchere

  • 15 January 2015 From 1:15pm

Photographer and DJ Eddie Otchere curates a music set inspired by the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

Lecture: ‘Doing the Right Thing for Fighting Men’: Music, Morale and the Military Body in London’s West End Nightclubs, 1915 – 19

  • 15 January 2015 From 1:15pm

Lecture
‘Doing the Right Thing for Fighting Men’: Music, Morale and the Military Body in London’s West End Nightclubs, 1915 – 19

Professor Rachel Cowgill explores changes in musical entertainment at Ciro’s Club, now home to the Gallery’s Heinz Archive and Library, over the course of the First World War.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 16 January 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Draw a portrait in ten minutes or two hours, it’s your choice at our artist-led drawing class.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music Brandenburg Choral Festival presents Aether Ensemble

  • 16 January 2015 From 6:30pm

A performance of French and English romantic part-songs by Saint-Saëns, Vaughan Williams and Arthur Sullivan.

National Portrait Gallery

Pick up a Pencil

  • 17 January 2015 2-4pm

Drop-in drawing session for young people, with the Gallery’s Youth Forum.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Family Session Sound and Vision

  • 18 January 2015 1-4:30pm

Join us for our new Drop-in Family Session on the third Sunday of every month. This session will explore sound so come along and use sound recorders, instruments and found material to create a portrait in sound. No ticket required. Children must be accompanied.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
National Portrait Gallery

Panel Discussion Who Are You?

  • 22 January 2015 From 7pm

Artist Grayson Perry and guests investigate themes of identity.

Admission

£7/£6

National Portrait Gallery

Guest DJ

  • 22 January 2015 From 6pm

Banish the winter blues and spend an evening in the company of our DJ at the pop-up bar.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 23 January 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Be inspired by the portraits in the Gallery to create your own works at this artist-led drawing class.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music One Mint Julep

  • 23 January 2015 From 6:30pm

Emine Pirhasan and Phil Stevenson, bringing to life classic jazz songs of the 30s and 40s.

National Portrait Gallery

Weekend Workshop: Drawing Faces

  • 24 — 25 January 2015 From 11am

Jake Spicer, author of Draw Faces in Fifteen Minutes, leads a two-day course in practical, applied portrait drawing, working from a portrait model and the permanent Collection. You will learn simple and effective approaches to representational portrait sketching in a variety of drawing media, from laying out the proportions of the face, to capturing the effects of light, to achieving likeness and expression.

Admission

£125/£100

National Portrait Gallery

The Drawing Room

  • 26 January 2015 1-3pm

Drop-in drawing session for disabled visitors. Meet in the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall.

National Portrait Gallery

Gallery Tour: Grayson Perry: Who Are You?

  • 29 January 2015 From 7:30pm

John Wilson takes a tour around Grayson Perry’s special display of new works inserted into the Gallery’s 19th and 20th century displays. Led in British Sign Language and interpreted into English.

National Portrait Gallery

Lecture: Dressing Elizabeth: The Phoenix Portrait as Evidence of a Royal Wardrobe

  • 29 January 2015 From 7pm

Taking the recently conserved Phoenix portrait of Elizabeth I as her focus, Professor Maria Hayward considers the clothes, jewellery and accessories worn by the queen, and the large range of individuals involved in making her clothes, caring for the royal wardrobe and assisting her to dress and undress.

Admission

£7/£6

National Portrait Gallery

Resident DJ Eddie Otchere

  • 29 January 2015 From 6pm

It’s the end of the month and pay day. Celebrate at the Gallery with music and our pop-up bar.

National Portrait Gallery

Visualising Portraits Keep the Home Fires Burning

  • 29 January 2015 From 2pm

Picture description for visually impaired visitors. Explore this fascinating display which remembers the popular stars of the music halls, music revues and comedies who entertained the public during the First World War.

National Portrait Gallery

Life Drawing: Video Views

  • 30 January 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Led by artist Robin-Lee Hall, explore working from real and recorded life as a live video backdrop shows a close-up of the model’s face. Our life drawing sessions take place on the last Friday of every month in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre and provide an opportunity for you to develop your own practice.

Admission

£9/£7

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 30 January 2015 6:30-8:30pm

If you haven’t picked up a pencil to draw since school, abandon all inhibitions and join our free, friendly Friday night portrait drawing class.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music: Le Petit Orchestre

  • 30 January 2015 From 6:30pm

The period ensemble performs a recital of established and less known repertoire around The Real Tudors display.

National Portrait Gallery

Young People’s Sunday Session: Wear it out

  • 1 February 2015 1-4pm

Taking inspiration from Grayson Perry: Who Are You? artists Sadie Lee and Becky Boston will highlight queer identity in the Gallery’s Collection and you will explore identity through textile customisation and costume. Part of LGBT History Month. Communication Support is available upon request.

National Portrait Gallery

Gallery Talk: Queer Perspectives

  • 5 February 2015 From 7pm

Celebrate LGBT History month with Queer Perspectives resident artist Sadie Lee and special guest discussing works in the Collection which have a personal resonance.

National Portrait Gallery

Guest DJ

  • 5 February 2015 From 6pm

Take advantage of our late-night exhibition openings and enjoy music and a drink at our pop-up bar.

National Portrait Gallery

Lecture Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

  • 5 February 2015 From 1:15pm

Broadcaster and journalist Anita Anand shares the enthralling story of Sophia Duleep Singh, dispossessed princess of the Kingdom of the Sikhs and a god-daughter of Queen Victoria.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 6 February 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Meet people and learn to draw at our free and friendly artist-led drawing class in the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music Sargent: Portraits of Artists & Friends – Philip Fowke

  • 6 February 2015 From 6:30pm

The lauded pianist performs music by close friend of John Singer Sargent, Gabriel Fauré.

National Portrait Gallery

Weekend Workshop: Working Photography

  • 7 — 8 February 2015 11am-5pm

Take a masterclass with award-winning Guardian photographer Graeme Robertson, currently exhibiting in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014. This
two-day practical photography workshop offers an insight in to the varied work of a professional photographer.

Admission

£125/£100

National Portrait Gallery

Gallery Tour: The Real Tudors

  • 12 February 2015 From 7:30pm

Charlotte Bolland, Project Curator for the Gallery’s Making Art in Tudor Britain project, leads a tour of The Real Tudors display.

National Portrait Gallery

Resident DJ Eddie Otchere

  • 12 February 2015 From 6pm

Let DJ Eddie Otchere get you in the mood for love with a St Valentine inspired set.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 13 February 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Love is in the air so come and celebrate the muse and be inspired at our artist-led drawing class.

National Portrait Gallery

The Portrait Choir: The Poet, the Lover and the Lunatic

  • 13 — 14 February 2015 6:30-7:45pm

Performed in rooms across the second floor of the Gallery, this multi-art performance will combine the music of Elgar and Vaughan Williams with scenes from a number of Shakespeare plays to explore the themes of inspiration and wisdom in the Gallery’s Collection. For this performance The Portrait Choir will be joined by a company of actors and musicians.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Family Session: Out of the Shadows

  • 15 February 2015 1-4:30pm

In this month’s new Drop-in Family Session we are creating a pop-up photographic studio to dress up, make up stories and explore family portraits. No ticket required. Children must be accompanied.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children
National Portrait Gallery

Half Term Activities: Friendship

  • 16 — 20 February 2015

A week of half term activities inspired by Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends. During the week there will be a range of ticketed and drop-in activities. For ages 5+.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 7-10
National Portrait Gallery

Young People’s Three-day Workshop: Painterly Portraits

  • 17 — 19 February 2015

Join us for an extended painting workshop, inspired by Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, to refine your sketching and acrylic painting skills. Get advice from the experts and find out more about life drawing with artist Robin-Lee Hall.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
National Portrait Gallery

A ‘Paradoxical’ Portrait

  • 19 February 2015 From 7pm

When John Singer Sargent painted Robert Louis Stevenson in 1885, his unconventional composition made Stevenson think of ‘a caged maniac’.

Stevenson’s biographer Claire Harman talks about the circumstances under which the painting was made, the friendships it reflected and its capturing of a moment in Stevenson’s life just before his own notable composition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In partnership with the Royal Society of Literature.

Admission

£6/£5

National Portrait Gallery

Guest DJ

  • 19 February 2015 From 6pm

Unwind at the pop-up bar and enjoy a themed set.

National Portrait Gallery

Young People’s Three-day Workshop

  • 19 February 2015 From 5pm

Showcase of artwork produced during the young people’s three-day workshop. All ages welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age
National Portrait Gallery

Lecture Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West

  • 19 February 2015 From 1:15pm

Aristocrat, literary celebrity, ‘Rose Queen’, devoted wife, lesbian, recluse, iconoclast – Vita Sackville-West was many things, but never straightforward. Biographer Matthew Dennison looks at her extraordinary life.

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 20 February 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Take inspiration from the portraits on display and sketch in the Gallery in this artist-led session.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music: Adam Brown ‘The A-Train to Argentina’

  • 20 February 2015 From 6:30pm

The guitars pre-eminent role in creative expression from the United States is presented alongside the warmth, melodic lyricism and rhythmic interplay of music from Latin America.

National Portrait Gallery

Pick up a Pencil

  • 21 February 2015 2-4pm

Drop-in drawing session for young people, with the Gallery’s Youth Forum.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • Family friendly
National Portrait Gallery

Weekend Workshop: Sargent’s Sight-Size Technique

  • 21 — 22 February 2015 From 11am

Isabella Watling’s portrait in the BP Portrait Award 2014, Gina and Cristiano, showcases her skills in sight-size portraiture in the tradition of Sargent. Spend two days with Isabella, taking inspiration from the exhibition Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, to create your own work, learning the sight-size technique and working from casts and a life model.

Admission

£125/£100

National Portrait Gallery

The Drawing Room

  • 23 February 2015 1-3pm

Drop-in drawing session for disabled visitors. Meet in the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall.

National Portrait Gallery

Gallery Talk: General Reputations of the First World War

  • 26 February 2015 From 7pm

Writer and former officer in the British Army, Allan Mallinson charts the progress of the Great War with reference to the military hierarchy depicted in Sargent’s large group portrait, General Officers of World War I. Interpreted into British Sign Language.

National Portrait Gallery

Resident DJ Eddie Otchere

  • 26 February 2015 From 6pm

DJ Eddie Otchere blends rare grooves with popular classics to provide a soundtrack to your visit. Portrait of the Day Talks take place every day at 12.00. Check signage on the day or the website for details.

National Portrait Gallery

Visualising Portraits: Grayson Perry: Who Are you?

  • 26 February 2015 From 2pm

Picture description for visually impaired visitors. This talk explores Grayson Perry’s outlook on contemporary Britain through his new portraits of individuals, families and groups.

National Portrait Gallery

Life Drawing Sargent Style

  • 27 February 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Taking inspiration from Sargent’s approach, artist Andy Pankhurst, guides you through his style in a series of quick drawings. Through poses of various lengths, you will explore such concepts as proportion and compositional design. Our life drawing sessions take place on the last Friday of every month in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre and provide an opportunity for you to develop your own practice.

Admission

£9/£7

National Portrait Gallery

Drop-in Drawing

  • 27 February 2015 6:30-8:30pm

Hone your portrait drawing skills at our drop-in class which takes place in the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

Live Music Gaia Duo: Bach and Bartok

  • 27 February 2015 From 6:30pm

Join violinists Piotr Jordan and Flora Curzon in a feast of music from the baroque era and the 20th century.

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.

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.

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.

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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