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Oxford Street interior1942

by Herbert Badham

This precise but painterly examination of a local pub by Herbert Badham, was first exhibited at the Society of Artists Annual Exhibition in 1942. Rather than focusing on the glamorous and sophisticated, as portrayed in pub posters during this period, the detailed depiction captures the atmosphere of the pub and reflects Badham’s interest in ordinary, sometimes down-at-heel Australians. 

In the 1940s there were over 600 public houses in Sydney. The pubs around Darlinghurst and Paddington were popular with local workers, but also with soldiers on leave and sailors walking up from the dockyards.