Sydney Ure Smith (1887–1949) was influential in promoting Australian art to a broader public during the first half of the twentieth century. In 1906 he founded the advertising company of Smith and Julius, incorporating quality art and design with technically advanced printing. He then founded the periodicals 'Art in Australia' (1916) and 'Home' (1920) and established the publishing company Ure Smith Pty Ltd in 1934, producing numerous texts of key significance to Australian art. President of the Society of Artists 1921–48, trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales 1927–47, patron of many artists, and active in numerous positions of influence, he was himself a competent practising artist.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006
This work was a finalist in the 1922 Archibald Prize and was acquired by the Gallery in 1929.
Sydney Ure Smith
oil on canvas
95.5 x 84.2 cm stretcher; 108.7 x 98.2 x 7.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Sydney Ure Smith 1929
Not on display
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Society of Artists Annual Exhibition (1923), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 15 Sep 1923–13 Oct 1923
150 years of Australian art (1938), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jan 1938–25 Apr 1938
Artists by artists (1954), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Nov 1954–05 Dec 1954
Famous Australians by famous Australian artists, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 07 Mar 1964–21 Mar 1964
Cover up: the art of magazine covers in Australia:
- Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney 19 May 1995–13 Aug 1995
- The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne 31 Aug 1995–08 Oct 1995
- National Library of Australia, Canberra 26 Oct 1995–31 Oct 1996
Referenced in 8 publications
Famous Australian artists, The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1964: Souvenir Catalogue of special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, Famous Australians, Adelaide, 1964. cat.no. 25
Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, 'Introduction', pg. v-vii., Sydney, 1954, xiii, (illus.). plate no. 21
Ian Burn, National life and landscape - Australian painting 1900-1940, 'Reflections in private spaces', pg. 116-157, Sydney, 1990, 133, 134 (colour illus.). plate no. 99
Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. cat.no. 31
David Moore, Jean Appleton - A lifetime with art, Sydney, 1998, 22 (illus.).
William Moore, The story of Australian art from the earliest known art of the continent to the art of today (Vol. 2), 'The boom', pg. 25-45, Sydney, 1934, (illus.).
Australian painting 1788-1990, 'Leviticus 1913-32', pg. 167-204, South Melbourne, 1991, 189, 190 (illus.). cat.no. 110
Art & Australia, ‘Sydney Ure Smith’, pg. 518-519, Sydney, May 2013-Jul 2013, 518 (colour illus.). author unknown