National Portrait Gallery

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.

The National Portrait Gallery is embarking on a major redevelopment project, Inspiring People, to transform the Gallery comprising of a comprehensive re-display of the Collection, combined with a significant refurbishment of the building. As such, it will be closed from 29 June 2020 - Spring 2023. For more information, visit www.npg.org.uk.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

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

Closed: 24-26 December
The Gallery is embarking on a major redevelopment project, Inspiring People, and will be closed from 29 June 2020 - Spring 2023. For more information, visit www.npg.org.uk.

Admission charges

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

Discounts

  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass

Additional info

Evening Openings

The Gallery is open on Friday evenings until 21.00 for #FridayLatesNPG. In addition to being able to view the Collection and exhibitions, guests can enjoy a drink at the bar, enjoy a live DJ set and join our weekly popular Drop-In Drawing session. There are also special events including In Conversation talks, exhibition tours, film screenings, life drawing classes and more. Find out more at npg.org.uk/FridayLates

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.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 poster featuring images from the exhibition

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

  • 7 November 2019 — 16 February 2020 *on now

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 is the leading international competition, open to all, which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world.

Showcasing talented young photographers, gifted amateurs and established professionals, the competition, showcases a diverse range of images and tells the often fascinating stories behind the creation of the works, from formal commissioned portraits to more spontaneous and intimate moments capturing friends and family.

The selected images, many of which will be on display for the first time, explore both traditional and contemporary approaches to the photographic portrait whilst capturing a range of characters, moods and locations. The exhibition of fifty-seven works features all of the prestigious prize winners including the winner of the £15,000 first prize.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£6 Full Price
£5 concessions
Free for Members
£3 tickets for under 25s on Fridays
£3 tickets for concessions and over 60s, Monday - Wednesday 10.00 - 11.00am

Website

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/taylor-wessing-photographic-portrait-prize-2019/exhibition/

Mother Bradford, 19 Feb 1979 by David Hockney

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

  • 27 February — 28 June 2020

The first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years, David Hockney: Drawing from Life, explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to the present by focusing on depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and friends, the curator, Gregory Evans, and master printer, Maurice Payne.

Featuring around 150 works from public and private collections across the world, as well as from the David Hockney Foundation and the artist, the exhibition will trace the trajectory of his practice by revisiting these five subjects over a period of five decades. Highlights include a series of new portraits; coloured pencil drawings created in Paris in the early 1970s; composite Polaroid portraits from the 1980s; and a selection of drawings from an intense period of self-scrutiny during the 1980s when the artist created a self-portrait every day over a period of two months

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£18-£20 / £17-£19 Concessions
Free for Members and Patrons
£5 tickets for under 25s every Friday

Website

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/2019/david-hockney-drawing-from-life/

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.
Baba Beaton as 'Heloise' in 'Great Lovers Pageant' by Cecil Beaton, 1925

Cecil Beaton's Bright Young Things

  • 12 March — 7 June 2020

This major new exhibition will explore the extravagant world of the glamorous and stylish ‘Bright Young Things’ of the twenties and thirties, seen through the eye of renowned British photographer Cecil Beaton. It will bring to life a deliriously eccentric, glamorous and creative era of British cultural life, combining High Society and the avant-garde, artists and writers, socialites and partygoers.

Featuring the leading cast of the ‘Bright Young Things’, many of whom Beaton would call friends – Anna May Wong, Oliver Messel and Stephen Tennant among others, this show will chart Beaton’s transformation from middle-class surburban schoolboy to glittering society figure and the unrivalled star of Vogue. In addition to Beaton’s own portraits, the exhibition will also feature paintings by friends and artists including Rex Whistler, Henry Lamb, and Augustus John.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£18-£20 / £17-£19 Concessions
Free for Members
£5 tickets for under-25s every Friday

Website

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/exhibitions/2019/cecil-beatons-bright-young-things/

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.

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

Website

http://www.npg.org.uk

E-mail

Tickets

tickets@npg.org.uk

Information and Comments

feedback@npg.org.uk

Telephone

Information

020 7306 0055

020 7306 0055

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.
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