The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

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Self-Portrait UK


People of all ages are invited to communicate their individuality and creativity by producing their own unique self-portrait to present themselves as they want to be seen, using digital imaging, photography, painting, video and other more traditional art forms to present themselves as they want to be seen.

This is the first initiative to emerge from Channel 4's 'Creative Cities' strategy in the North East.

Produced by Media 19, and supported by Northern Arts and the National Portrait Gallery.


Manchester City Art Gallery,
24 November 2003 - 20 January 2004

Glasgow Museum of Modern Art
September 2003 - 16 November 2003

National Museums & Galleries Wales, Cardiff
2 July - 30 August 2003

Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast,
12 February - 27 March 2004

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens,
9 December - 27 February 2005

Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

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Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

See the video