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Mystery Portrait Postcards and Pen Portraits

Past display archive
12 February - 13 February 2014

Room 32


Mystery Portrait Postcards

On 12 and 13 February 2014 we invite you to view two unique temporary displays at the National Portrait – Mystery Portrait Postcards and Pen Portraits. Both displays have been created for a special fundraising occasion to be hosted by the Gallery on Tuesday 11 February. Funds raised via the event, entitled The Portrait Gala, will directly support the Gallery’s work of delivering inspirational exhibitions and displays, offering unique learning opportunities and undertaking world-class research.

Mystery Portrait Postcards

Mystery Portrait Postcards

The Gallery invited a number of artists, sitters and well-known individuals to create an A5 portrait for the Mystery Portrait Postcard display. We received a fantastic response and as a result have over 200 wonderful postcards to show. Contributors include Richard E Grant, Grace Coddington, Sir Paul Smith, Maggi Hambling, Gok Wan, John Swannell and Alex Katz, and mediums range from photographs to drawings, and paintings to collages. The postcards are displayed anonymously and we hope you enjoy guessing who the artists might be.  

Pen Portraits

We asked some of Britain’s best-known authors and writers to create a written portrait of one of the outstanding characters from the Collection. Each Pen Portrait is handwritten and framed alongside a reproduction of the portrait in question. Our acclaimed authors include Gallery Trustee Marina Warner, Hilary Mantel, Joanna Trollope, Sir David Hare, Sir Michael Holroyd and Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

Mystery Portrait Postcards

To view the displays head to the Balcony Gallery, Room 32, on the first floor on 12 or 13 February 2014. The Gallery is open from 10.00am to 6.00pm on 12 February and 10.00am to 9.00pm on 13 February.

As well as the opportunity to view a selection of work by renowned artists, writers and celebrities, members of the public are able to purchase Mystery Portrait Postcards and Pen Portraits that remain for sale after The Portrait Gala. Mystery Portrait Postcards will be sold for £300 (inc vat) and Pen Portraits will be sold for £600 (inc vat) both on a first-come, first-served basis and all monies will help the Gallery to continue inspiring visitors for years to come.

To view the Mystery Portrait Postcards still available to purchase please click here.

To view the Pen Portraits still available to purchase please click here.

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Learning resources

Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.

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