Sydney Ure Smith was born at Stoke-Newington, England and came to Australia the following year. He studied at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School and provided illustrations for the 'Sydney Mail'. With Harry Julius he set up the successful advertising agency Smith and Julius, which employed artists such as Roland Wakelin, Roy de Maistre, Percy Leason and Lloyd Rees. Ure Smith is best known for his activities as a publisher and for his promotion of Australian art and artists. He was responsible for the first important art journal 'Art in Australia' (1916-39), 'The Australia National Journal', 'Home' magazine and the book 'Present day art in Australia', amongst others. He organized the important Australian art exhibition at Burlington House, London in 1923 (for which Elioth Gruner was the representative in London), was a trustee of the AGNSW and President of the NSW Society of Artists. He was also a fine draughtsman, watercolourist and printmaker. A drawing and two watercolours by him are illustrated in '1880s to 1990s, Australian watercolours from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1995 and 'Australian drawings from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1997.
Ure Smith was taught etching by Eirene Mort and Lionel Lindsay. He bought and used Livingston Hopkins' press and was an influential foundation member of the Australian Painter-Etchers Society, exhibiting frequently with them. There are 28 etchings by Ure Smith in the collection, several in more than one impression. This is one of his earliest prints, made in August 1915 and included in the first published catalogue of his etchings in 1920.
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour
etching, printed in black ink with pale plate tone on ivory laid paper
9.6 x 18.8 cm platemark; 11.7 x 20.0 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r.c, pencil "Sydney Ure Smith/ Aug 1915".
Signed in plate to print l.r. corner, black ink "S.Ure S.".
Gift of Sir Kenneth Street 1962
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jan 1990–11 Mar 1990
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Referenced in 4 publications
Hal Missingham and Lionel Lindsay, The etchings of Sydney Ure Smith, Sydney, 1950, (illus.). plate no. 26; titled 'Pyrmont Bridge, Darling Harbour', etched 1915
Anne Ryan, Australian etchings and engravings 1880s–1930s from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2007, 28 (colour illus.). cat.no.36
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 41 (colour illus.). cat.no. 26
Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. cat.no. 61