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Australian art

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Sydney Ure Smith OBE



W B McInnes


1889 - 1939


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.


Other Title

Sydney Ure Smith



Media category


Materials used

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

Accession number


Archibald Prize

- 1922

Artist information

W B McInnes

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

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. 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

Christine France, Deborah Edwards, David Moore, Mary Turner and Robyn Martin-Weber, Jean Appleton - A lifetime with art, Sydney, 1998, 22 (illus.).

Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. 31

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.).

Bernard William Smith and Terry Smith, Australian painting 1788-1990, 'Leviticus 1913-32', pg. 167-204, South Melbourne, 1991, 189, 190 (illus.). 110

Eleonora Triguboff (Editor), Art & Australia, ‘Sydney Ure Smith’, pg. 518-519, Sydney, May 2013-Jul 2013, 518 (colour illus.). author unknown