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People's Portraits

Ordinary people from all walks of life

The People’s Portraits Exhibition

In 2000, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters mounted a millennial exhibition entitled People’s Portraits. The idea was to represent ordinary people from all walks of life, and thereby offer a picture of the United Kingdom as it moved from the 20th century into the 21st. The resulting collection is rich in the diversity of its subjects. The artists are all members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

This exciting and original collection has been housed at Girton College since 2002 as a long-term loan. The concept of this exhibition chimes well with the College ethos of community and interest in art. New portraits by members of the RP are added to the collection every year, and there are now 60 paintings in the exhibition.

Visiting the exhibition

The People's Portraits exhibition is now fully open to visitors.

The exhibition is open to the public daily 9am-5pm. If you would like to visit with a group of more than 6 people please contact us to book a visit.  

We have a duty of care to our staff, students and visitors to do all possible to protect them against communicable diseases such as covid so please read and follow the protocols set out in our visitor information.

These protocols will be updated as the College's covid policy evolves, so please continue to check for any updates. For all our policies please see our coronavirus information webpage

Please be aware we may need to close the exhibition at short notice; any such closure will be recorded on this webpage. 


We have an activity pack for primary and secondary school age groups, and other useful information.

List of portraits displayed below (L–R) first row: Dede Cossta, Brazilian dancer by Sheldon Hutchinson; Girish Sethna, Note-Taker by Alastair Christian Adams; second row: Marc Crank by Alastair Christian Adams; The Boxer by David Caldwell.

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