Events and exhibitions calendar

Find out what's on in our current and upcoming exhibitions, displays, events, programmes, workshops and more.

Exhibitions (6)

A visitor stands looking at a painting closely cropped on a woman standing at a diagonal, with a background of abstract geometric shapes and African masks and statues

The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure

22 February - 19 May 2024
Floor 0
£16.00 / £18.00 with donation

Explore the Black figure in Western art history with contemporary artists from the African diaspora, curated by Ekow Eshun

Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In

21 March - 16 June 2024
Floor 2
£8.50 / £9.50 with donation

Experience the creative and imaginative portraiture of influential photographers Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron, spanning over a century

Six Lives

20 June - 8 September 2024

£21 / £23.50 with donation

Historic paintings by Hans Holbein and contemporary photography by Hiroshi Sugimoto meet in our first exhibition of historic portraiture since reopening

Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award 2024

11 July - 27 October 2024

Free to visit

The Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award returns to the National Portrait Gallery, showcasing the very best in contemporary portraiture

Francis Bacon Portraits

10 October 2024 - 19 January 2025

Tickets not yet on sale

Featuring works from the 1950s onwards, this exhibition will explore Francis Bacon’s deep connection to portraiture

Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2024

14 November 2024 - 16 February 2025

Tickets not yet on sale

Showcasing the work of talented young photographers, gifted amateurs and established professionals, the Prize features the very best of contemporary photography

Events (45)

Daily highlights tours

Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Tue, 23 April 2024, 11.00-11.45
Meet on Floor 3, Room 18
Free (drop in – spaces limited) 

Free highlights tour exploring our Collection and building every day at 11.00 and 15.00

Portrait of the day talks: April

Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Tue, 23 April 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

A talk on a chosen portrait in the Gallery's Collection, delivered every day at 12.30 and 14.00

Descriptive tour: the Collection

Adult, Accessible events, Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Tue, 23 April 2024, 14.30-16.00
In Gallery
Free (booking required)

Join our free monthly audio described tours for visitors who are blind or partially sighted.

Women’s representation and the female gaze

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 25 April 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Join us as we explore the representation of women in the arts throughout history and what it means to be a woman working in the arts today.

LGBTQ+ highlights tour

Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Thu, 25 April 2024, 15.00-15.45
Meet on Floor 3, Room 18
Free (drop in – spaces limited) 

Discover key LGBTQ+ figures from the Gallery's Collection

Trailblazers Black history tour

Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Fri, 26 April 2024, 15.00-15.45
Meet on Floor 3, Room 18
Free (drop in – spaces limited) 

Discover key Black figures from the Gallery's Collection

Evening life drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 26 April 2024, 18.00-19.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£20 (£16 Members / concessions)

Join our monthly evening life drawing class, led by a figurative artist, and hone your technical drawing skills in a range of media.

BSL tour: the Collection

Adult, Accessible events, Evening, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Fri, 26 April 2024, 19.30-20.30
In Gallery (room TBC)
Free (booking required)

Join our free monthly BSL tours for D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors to take a journey through the Collection.

Inspiring Women highlights tour

Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Tue, 30 April 2024, 15.00-15.45
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop-in - spaces limited)

Discover a selection of inspiring women from the Gallery's Collection

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 3 May 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Begin your weekend by creating your own work of art, inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits
Colour photo of a man wearing a dark suit standing in a room with a green carpet and furniture; behind him two large portraits hang on the wall

Ekow Eshun in Conversation with Dorothy Price

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

Fri, 3 May 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Onsite £15 (£12 Members / concessions)
Online livestream cancelled

Join Ekow Eshun, curator of The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure, in conversation with Dorothy Price, curator of the Royal Academy’s…

Members’ Late - The Time is Always Now and Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron

Member, Evening

Tue, 7 May 2024, 18.30-20.30
Exhibition spaces

Join us for a Members’ Late to view The Time is Always Now and Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron

Lunchtime Lecture - Sarah Siddons: the first celebrity actress

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 9 May 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Lunchtime Lecture by Jo Willett celebrating the legendary actress Sarah Siddons and the first biography about her in over 50 years
Colour photo of a man with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a lanyard, talking as he gestures to a portrait hanging on the Gallery wall

Members event: Westminster tour

Member, Evening, Gallery tours

Fri, 10 May 2024, 17.30-19.00
Meet at Ross Place
£25 (Members only)

Join us for an exclusive Members-only walking tour around Westminster as, revealing connections between people in the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection…

Screening of 'Super Sam' and In Conversation with director Sandi Hudson-Francis

Adult, Evening, Film screening

Fri, 10 May 2024, 18.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Screening of Super Sam, followed by an In Conversation with director Sandi Hudson-Francis

Weekend workshop: Introduction to figurative painting

Adult, Daytime, Workshop

11 - 12 May 2024, 11.00-17.00
The Art Studio
£250 (£200 Members / concessions)

Join visual artist Shannon Bono to learn the basics of figurative painting in this two-day workshop

Film screening: The Watermelon Woman

Adult, Daytime, Film screening

Sat, 11 May 2024, 14.00-16.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Free (booking required)

Screening of The Watermelon Woman that tells the story of Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye), a twentysomething black lesbian struggling to make a documentary…

‘The Time is Always Now’ – meet the makers

Adult, Daytime

13 - 19 May 2024
National Portrait Gallery Shop
Free

Discover the work of makers selected for the Shop to compliment the Gallery’s exhibition The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure.

Little Explorers

Family, Daytime, Workshop

Various dates, next at Wed, 15 May 2024, 10.45-11.30
Learning Centre Floor -2, Photography Studio
Free, booking required

Join our free monthly session for Under 5s. Explore the gallery and the collection with your family through stories, songs and making activities.

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 17 May 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Begin your weekend by creating your own work of art, inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

Photo London x National Portrait Gallery: Valérie Belin in conversation with Holly Roussell

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

Fri, 17 May 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£15 (£12 Members / concessions)

Join Valérie Belin, the Photo London Master of Photography 2024, in conversation with curator, Holly Roussell

‘Photography is a place for the viewer to dream in’: What can photography do?

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 23 May 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

In this lecture, contemporary artist Esther Teichmann will look at the ways in which photography is used to transport a viewer beyond reality and into…

Family Day: Fun with Faces

Family, Daytime, Workshop

Tue, 28 May 2024, 11.00-16.00
Learning Centre and across the Gallery
Free

Bring faces to life this half term through fun hands-on activities.

Going Pro

Young people, Daytime, Workshop

29 - 31 May 2024, 10.30-16.00
Learning Centre
Free

Aged 15-18 and interested in finding out more about creative careers? Join us for a three-day insights programme offering behind-the-scenes access to…

Evening life drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Various dates, next at Fri, 31 May 2024, 18.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£20 (£16 Members / concessions)

Join our monthly life drawing class held in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 7 June 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Begin your weekend by creating your own work of art, inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

Chevalier D’Eon: life and Queer identity

Adult, Evening, Gallery tours

Fri, 7 June 2024, 19.00-20.00
Floor 3, Room 18
Free

Join Drag Artist Timberlina, on an irreverent tour of the Gallery, focused on the extraordinary life of the Chevalier d’Eon

Members event: analogue photography workshop

Member, Daytime, Workshop

Sat, 8 June 2024, 11.00-17.00
The Law Photography Studio
£130 (Members only)

Join contemporary photographer Eddie Otchere for a Members-only photography workshop introducing analogue portrait photography

The Lives of Tudor Women

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 20 June 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Queens in Context: Women in 16th-century Europe lecture one. Elizabeth Norton explores seven ages of Tudor woman, from childhood to old age

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 21 June 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Begin your weekend by creating your own work of art, inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

Curator’s introduction to Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

Fri, 21 June 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Onsite £15 (£12 Members / concessions)

Join exhibition curator Charlotte Bolland as she introduces the Gallery’s new major exhibition Six Lives: The Stories of Henry VIII’s Queens

Game of Queens: the women who made 16th-century Europe

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 27 June 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Queens in Context: Women in 16th-century Europe lecture two. Sarah Gristwood follows the passage of power from Isabella of Castile and Anne de Beaujeu…

Evening life drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 28 June 2024, 18.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£20 (£16 Members / concessions)

Join our monthly evening life drawing class, led by a figurative artist in the Ondaatje Wing Lecture Theatre

Descriptive tour: Six Lives

Accessible events, Evening, Gallery tours

Fri, 5 July 2024, 18.00-19.30
In Gallery (room TBC) and Learning Centre
Free (booking required)

Join our free monthly audio described tours for visitors who are blind or partially sighted

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 5 July 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Begin your weekend by creating your own work of art, inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

SIX the Musical interpreted performance and Six Lives BSL tour

Adult, Accessible events, Evening, Gallery tours

Sat, 6 July 2024, 16.00-19.00
BSL tour: 18.00-19.00
Meet in the Gallery's Entrance Hall


A unique opportunity to attend an interpreted performance of the award-winning SIX the Musical at the Vaudeville Theatre and Deaf-led BSL tour of Six…

Waiting Game: the untold story of the women who served the Tudor queens

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 11 July 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Queens in Context: Women in 16th-century Europe lecture three. Nicola Clark explores the daily lives of ladies-in-waiting

Members event: evening painting class

Member, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 12 July 2024, 18.00-20.00
The Art Studio
£80 (Members only)

Join this evening painting class for Members, led by an exhibiting artist from this year’s Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award

Panel discussion - Page, stage and screen: dramatising Six Lives

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

Fri, 12 July 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£15 (£12 Members / concessions)

This panel discussion will explore different perspectives on adapting the biographies of Henry VIII's Queens for storytelling in musicals, operas…

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

Fri, 19 July 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Begin your weekend by creating your own work of art, inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

Sensory tour: the Collection

Adult, Accessible events, Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at Sun, 21 July 2024, 11.00-12.00
In Gallery room TBC
Free (booking required)

Our sensory tours invite visitors with complex support needs and their carers to experience the Collection in imaginative ways.

Marguerite de Navarre: the mirror of a Renaissance queen

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 25 July 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Queens in Context: Women in 16th-century Europe lecture four. Emily Butterworth will introduce the figure of Queen Marguerite de Navarre

Hunting the Falcon: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the marriage that rocked Europe

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

Thu, 5 September 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Queens in Context: Women in 16th-century Europe lecture five. John Guy and Julia Fox explore the most infamous of Henry’s marriages

Suzannah Lipscomb in conversation

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

Fri, 6 September 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£15 (£12 Members / concessions)

Tudor historian Suzannah Lipscomb explores the historiography of Henry VIII’s Queens

Six Lives study day: the material culture of the Tudor Court

Adult, Conference and study days, Daytime

Sat, 7 September 2024, 11.00-17.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£40 (£32 Members / concessions)

Drawing on the extensive variety of objects from the Tudor court as seen in Six Lives: The Story of Henry VIII’s Queens, this study day is a chance to…

Displays (2)

Colin Davidson: Silent Testimony

22 April 2024 - 23 February 2025
Room 14, Floor 3
Free

Featuring 18 large-scale portraits, Silent Testimony is a display by Belfast-born artist Colin Davidson
Colour photo of a man in red overalls seated in front of a red curtain

People Powered: stories from film and screen

29 April - 30 June 2024
Studio Gallery, Floor -2
Free

This display invites visitors to discover new portraits, archive material and oral histories that go behind the scenes at Ilford Film and Elstree Studios…

National and International Programme (0)

There are currently no National and International Programme matching this filter.