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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Citizen UK

In collaboration with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, Ealing Local History Centre, Museum of Croydon and Wolverhampton Arts & Culture we visualise migration stories from the mid-twentieth century.

Citizen researchers, made up of local community members, explore local and national archives and collections along with their own stories, memories and material to tell the stories of migrant communities from their area.

Supported by an artist, they will create a new artwork that will be shown locally, and eventually will come to the National Portrait Gallery when we re-open our doors.

Projects will take place over three years, until mid-2023, and you can follow the progress by visiting the project pages below.

Three seamen outside Dumbar House on the West India Dock Road, Limehouse, London, circa 1925. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Bangladesh 50 years

In Spring 2021, we are commemorating 50 years of the independence of Bangladesh in partnership with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archive, artist Ruhul Abdin and digital producers Rainbow Collective.

Explore the project

The Lime (Samuel Selvon; John La Rose; Andrew Salkey) by Horace Ové.

Ealing Rises Up

In partnership with Ealing Local History Centre Archives and artists Asia Ahmed and Narvir Singh, we investigate stories of those who stood up and resisted racism, and recognise some of Ealing's lesser known figures.

Find out more

Schoolchildren pin artwork to a board - BPNG Summer School - 2018. Image by Simon Mooney

Future collaborations

We will be launching partnerships with the Museum of Croydon and Wolverhampton Arts & Culture in 2022 and 2023, and will provide updates here.

Find out more about future collaborations




Funded by The National Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund


Scientific techniques

Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.

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Subjects and themes

Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!

Discover the Collection

Black History Month

Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.

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A Picture of Health

Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.

Explore the timeline