Join us and Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of Sydney for a lecture by Karen Quinlan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery Australia. Quinlan reflects on her pioneering work at Bendigo Art Gallery as a foundation for her new role as Director at the National Portrait Gallery Australia.


Karen Quinlan has a long and distinguished history of leadership in the visual arts: as an art gallery Director, as a curator and arts manager, as an educator, and as a significant contributor to the community in which she lives.

Under her leadership, the Bendigo Art Gallery became an internationally recognised site for quality exhibitions, many undertaken with overseas partners, such as the National Portrait Gallery in London.

In 2018 Ms Quinlan was appointed Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Australia. Ms Quinlan said: “I am looking at the future of the NPGA with confidence and ambition. I am drawn to its uniqueness, its narrative and its collection, both visually and philosophically.

Ms Quinlan will reflect on her extensive experience in the cultural sector in Australia, and elaborate on her ambitious plans for the National Portrait Gallery. An institution that she has described as: “It is one of a kind! It celebrates our success, our inventiveness, our artistry, our cleverness as a nation and our identity. It must continue to collect works that symbolise the breadth and depth of Australian life”.



6:00-7:00pm, Wednesday 9 October 2019

Heydon Laurence Lecture Theatre 217

Science Road

University of Sydney

Camperdown NSW 2050

For further enquiries, please contact



Karen Quinlan will also present a masterclass for University of Sydney students on Wednesday 9 October. For those interested, please register by emailing

The masterclass will take place from 1:00 to 3:00pm in Woolley Seminar Room S226.