About us

We tell the story of Britain through portraits, using art to bring history to life and explore living today

We look after the world’s greatest collection of portraits. Spanning six centuries, our artworks reveal the inspiring and sometimes surprising personal stories that have shaped, and continue to shape a nation - from global icons to local champions, national treasures to unsung heroes.

We are also passionate about portraiture, always progressing our art form, championing artists and encouraging creativity. We celebrate the power of portraiture to create person-to-person connections and the experiences we provide offer encounters with some of the world’s greatest artists as well as the very best in contemporary art.


Our vision and role

                    National Portrait Gallery

Our vision

Lives inspired and society enriched through deeper connections with the nation’s stories

Manchester mural of 'Melanie' Manchester mural of 'Melanie'

Our role

We bring to life the human stories that have shaped and are shaping our ever-changing history

Our promise to our visitors

Who we are

We are a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and a charity exempt from registration under the Charities Act of 2011. We are governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Prime Minister in accordance with the Museums and Galleries Act 1992. The Director of the Gallery is Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who leads the Board of Directors.

Our governance

National and International work