The resonant multiple excitation of collective modes in metallic nanoparticles using ultrashort laser pulses leads to an enhanced multiphoton photoemission from the particles. This effect is here demonstrated for the surface-plasmon resonance of Au nanoparticles on graphite. The shape of the photoemission spectra is explained by multiphoton photo-assisted thermionic emission from the nanoparticles and resonant emission via the image-potential state on graphite. Tuning the photon energy between 1.7 eV and 3.2 eV allows the identification of an enhancement of the photoemission yield at 2.1+/-0.1-eV photon energy that is attributed to the resonant excitation of the surface plasmon in the Au nanoparticles. This identification of the surface-plasmon excitation in this energy range is also supported by electron energy loss spectroscopy.