Room 39: Contemporary Portraits

Room 39
© The National Portrait Gallery, London

Britain in the twenty-first century remains a vibrant hub for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, scientific discoveries, creative thinking and entrepreneurship. The nation's diversity is reflected in the range of sitters represented in the contemporary collection.

In this celebrity-driven age some faces will be familiar, others less so, but the subject lining the corridor and adjoining rooms have all contributed to or influenced our lives today. In other areas on the ground floor changing thematic displays highlight the National Portrait Gallery’s own extensive Collection and explore aspects of current portrait practice.

The Gallery’s active commissioning programme enables us to approach a wide range of contemporary artists and photographs, many of whom established their careers in the Gallery’s two annual open competitions – the BP Portrait Award and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.