Events and exhibitions calendar

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

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Events (47)

Daily highlights tours

Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at 23 February 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 talk: Virginia Woolf by Vanessa Bell

Daytime, Gallery tours

23 February 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Learn more about this portrait of Virginia Woolf by Vanessa Bell
A male head in profile with long hair tied back, against a blue background with Arabic writing across it; in the top left-hand corner Arabic style writing spells out u-cef halalwood

DJ: U-Cef

Adult, Evening, Music and performance

23 February 2024, 18.30-20.30
Main Hall
Free (drop-in)

Join DJ U-Cef for an evening of Moroccan music in our Main Hall

In conversation with Hassan Hajjaj and Rose Issa

Adult, Evening, Online, Talks and conversations

23 February 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre / Online livestream
Onsite £15 (£12 Members / concessions)
Online £8 (£6 Members / concessions)

Join Rose Issa in conversation with this year’s In Focus Photographer for the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize, Hassan Hajjaj.

BSL tour: the Collection

Adult, Accessible events, Evening, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at 23 February 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.

Portrait of the day talk: Noel Coward

Daytime, Gallery tours

24 February 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Learn more about this portrait of Noel Coward by Horst P. Horst

Past and presence: the histories and legacies of London’s Black lesbian community

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

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

Join Paula Akpan and Valerie Mason John for a discussion on the theme of kinship and London’s Black, Queer community

Portrait of the day talk: Malala Yousafzai

Daytime, Gallery tours

25 February 2024, 12.00-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Learn more about this portrait of Malala Yousafzai by Shirin Neshat

Portrait of the day talk: Gluck

Daytime, Gallery tours

26 February 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Discover more about this self-portrait by Gluck

Portrait of the day talk: Derek Jarman

Daytime, Gallery tours

27 February 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Learn more about this portrait of Derek Jarman by Richard Hamilton

Portrait of the day talk: Virginia Woolf by Vanessa Bell

Daytime, Gallery tours

28 February 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Learn more about this portrait of Virginia Woolf by Vanessa Bell

Portrait of the day: King James I/VI

Daytime, Gallery tours

29 February 2024, 12.30-13.00
Meet on Floor 0, historic stairs landing
Free (drop in – spaces limited)

Learn more about this portrait of King James I of England and VI of Scotland by Daniel Mytens

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

1 March 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Led by an artist, create your own work in the Gallery and be inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

The Bluestockings: The First Women’s Movement

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

7 March 2024, 13.00-14.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Join Susannah Gibson to celebrate the lives and achievements of the Bluestockings, women who risked everything to think and live as they wished

DJ: Tone

Adult, Evening, Music and performance

8 March 2024, 18.30-20.30
Main Hall
Free (drop-in)

To celebrate the opening of The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure, join Tone for a DJ set in the Main Hall.

‘Our Aliveness’: Screening of ‘Black Poirot’ and discussion with the director

Adult, Evening, Film screening

8 March 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Join us for a screening of Black Poirot, followed by an in-conversation with the director, Rosa Johan Uddo

‘Our Aliveness’: Damsel Elysium

Adult, Evening, Music and performance

8 March 2024, 19.30-20.00
In Gallery

Join composer and multi-instrumentalist, Damsel Elysium to celebrate the concept of ‘Blackness’ as a way to foster kinship and community.

Using portrait photography to explore identity

Adult, Daytime, Workshop

9 March 2024, 10.00-17.00
The Law Photography Studio
£125 (£100 Members / concessions)

Join this workshop exploring posed photography that communicates the complexities of living as racialised, sexualised figures under the white gaze

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

15 March 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Led by an artist, create your own work in the Gallery and be inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits

Uncovering hidden stories to tell better histories

Adult, Evening, Talks and conversations

15 March 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre
£10 (£8 Members / concessions)

Join us for an exciting discussion about the role of heritage sites in uncovering hidden histories and re-presenting a fuller, richer story of Britain

Little Explorers

Family, Daytime, Workshop

Various dates, next at 20 March 2024, 11.00-12.30
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.

Members’ afternoon preview - Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In

Member, Daytime

20 March 2024, 14.00-17.00
Exhibition space
Free for Members

Join us for an extended in person Members’ Afternoon preview of the exhibition Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron: Portraits to Dream In.

Members’ event: evening life drawing

Member, Evening, Workshop

22 March 2024, 18.00-20.00
Law Photography Studio
£50

Join our members-only life drawing class, led by a figurative artist to hone your technical drawing skills in a range of media.
People sitting in an auditorium.

Magda Keaney in conversation

Adult, Evening, Online, Talks and conversations

22 March 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre / Online livestream
Onsite £15 (£12 Members / concessions)
Online £8 (£6 Members / concessions)

Join curator Magda Keaney as she discusses themes explored by Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron.

BSL tour: The Time is Always Now

Adult, Accessible events, Evening, Gallery tours

22 March 2024, 19.30-20.30
Main Entrance, Ross Place
Free (booking required)

Join this month's BSL tour for D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors to explore exhibition The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure

Digital photography workshop: BLUR

Adult, Daytime, Workshop

23 March 2024, 11.00-17.00
The Law Photography Studio
£125 (£100 Members / concessions)

Explore experimenting and innovating through the medium of photography in this workshop led by a leading contemporary photographer.

Poetry performance: Salena Godden

Adult, Daytime, Music and performance

23 March 2024, 14.00-14.30
In Gallery, Room 18
£5 (£4 Members / concessions)

Join Salena Godden for a poetry performance in the Galleries, drawing on magical realism and the notion of a dream space.

Descriptive tour: The Time is Always Now

Adult, Accessible events, Daytime, Gallery tours

26 March 2024, 14.30-16.00
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.

Youth Late

Young people, Evening

Various dates, next at 28 March 2024, 19.00-21.00
Across Galleries
Free (booking required)

Join us for our next Youth Late exclusively for 18 to 25 year-olds, curated and hosted by our Young Producers

Spring Family Festival week 1

Family, Daytime, Workshop

4 - 5 April 2024, 11.00-16.00
Learning Centre
Free

Jump into spring with creative activities for all the family, inspired by nature and the season

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

5 April 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Led by an artist, create your own work in the Gallery and be inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits.

Trespassing: Art and Black belonging in a colonial landscape

Adult, Evening, Online, Talks and conversations

5 April 2024, 19.00-20.00
The Ondaatje Wing Theatre / Online livestream
Onsite: £10 (£8 Members / concessions)
Online £8 (£6 Members / concessions)

Join Niellah Arboine for a conversation on the role of artistic practice to create and assert a new kind of belonging in Britain’s colonial landscape

PORTfolio workshop

Young people, Daytime, Workshop

6 April 2024, 11.00-16.00
Learning Centre
Free (booking required)

Sharpen your portraiture skills through drawing and painting workshops for young people aged 16-21

PORTfolio reviews

Young people, Daytime, Workshop

7 April 2024, 14.00-17.30
Learning Centre
Free (booking required)

Speed-portfolio review sessions for young people aged 16-21, offering advice and feedback with an inspiring group of artists, curators and artist…

Spring Family Festival week 2

Family, Daytime, Workshop

11 - 12 April 2024, 11.00-16.00
Learning Centre
Free

Jump into spring with creative activities for all the family, inspired by nature and the season

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

Adult, Daytime, Talks and conversations

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

Join us for a lecture looking at the ways in which photography is used to transport a viewer beyond reality and into a dream space.

Get loud: a dominoes night at the National Portrait Gallery

Adult, Evening, Workshop

12 April 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Join us for a pop-up dominoes tournament in our gallery space after hours, celebrating the kinship and connection fostered by the game

Digital photography workshop: gesture, pose, staging and props

Adult, Daytime, Workshop

13 April 2024, 11.00-17.00
The Law Photography Studio
£125 (£100 Members / concessions)

Use digital photography to consider pose and gesture in your own work in this one-day workshop led by contemporary photographer Lydia Goldblatt

Members’ early morning view - The Time is Always Now and Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron

Member, Daytime

15 April 2024, 08.30-10.00
Exhibition space
Booking opens 7 March 2024

Join us for a Members' Early Morning View of The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure and Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron:…

Members’ event: frame conservation studio tour and gilding workshop

Member, Evening, Workshop

19 April 2024, 18.00-20.00
The Law Photography Studio
£80

Join Stuart Ager for an intimate evening talk and workshop revealing the processes behind frame conservation and the application of gold-leaf.
Drop-in drawing session participants sketching in the Gallery.

Drop-in drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

19 April 2024, 18.00-20.00
In Gallery
Free

Led by an artist, create your own work in the Gallery and be inspired by the world’s largest collection of portraits.

Creating realistic portraits using ballpoint pen

Adult, Daytime, Workshop

20 - 21 April 2024, 11.00-17.00
The Art Studio
£250 (£200 Members / concessions)

Create your own ballpoint pen portraits of historical figures of African descent during this two-day workshop led by artist Habib Hajallie

Sensory tour: the Collection

Adult, Accessible events, Daytime, Gallery tours

22 April 2024, 12.00-12.45
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.

Descriptive tour: the Collection

Adult, Accessible events, Daytime, Gallery tours

Various dates, next at 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

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.

Evening life drawing

Adult, Evening, Workshop

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.

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

Member, Evening

7 May 2024, 18.30-20.30
Exhibition spaces
Booking opens 25 March 2024

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