watercolour painter, etcher, illustrator, commercial artist and publisher, was born in Stoke Newington, England, on 9 January 1887 and came to Australia with his family less than a year after his birth. His father, a hotel manager, managed the Menzies Hotel in Melbourne and the Hotel Australia in Sydney from 1901. Syd attended Sydney Grammar School, where he produced The Kat (1901-2) and Australia Kat (1902-3) for his father’s hotel. He studied art under Julian Ashton in 1902-7 (renamed the Sydney Art School from 1906) and was taught etching by Eirene Mort . He contributed illustrations to the Sydney Mail and illustrated many books. In 1903 he published the Palette , which included illustrations by Viola Austral Quaife , whom he married at Paddington on 6 May 1909; her sister Ethelwyn married Charles Lloyd Jones .
In 1907 Ure Smith became a member of the Society of Artists; 13 years later he was elected president (1921-48). In 1906, aged 19, he founded Smith & Julius Commercial Art Studios in Bond Street, Sydney with cartoonist Harry Julius , where he played an active role until 1923. In 1916 he founded Art in Australia (the publishing company of Art in Australia Ltd was established in 1920, which included Home 1920-42), Australia National Journal et al. (see Underhill). After he sold the company to John Fairfax and Sons in 1934 he founded Ure Smith Pty Ltd in 1939, which ultimately published over 130 items and six periodicals.
As 'Sydney G. Smith’, he illustrated a poem titled 'High Heels or High Brows?’ in the Comic Australian of 23 December 1911. Other juvenilia (signed?) includes 'The Xmas Kat’, 'The Palette’ (ill. Caban, 54) and 'The Dictates of Fashion’ in Lone Hand June 1912 (ill. Caban, 58) and a Greek athlete signed 'Sydney Ure Smith’ advertising '“Snowy” Baker’s System of Health Exercises’, Lone Hand May 1913, xxvii. His cover of Lone Hand for March 1915 shows a British pilot shooting at a zeppelin. Other illustrations published in Lone Hand in 1913 include: Curraghbeena Point, Mosman, Sydney Harbour: a drawing , vol.13 (August 1913), 260; Old Convicts’ Barracks, Sydney: a drawing , vol.12 (February 1913), 272.
As well as etching old buildings he did occasional drawings for the Bulletin and illustrated a few novels, according to Underhill in the ADB . A sophisticated etching of Sydney Town Hall (1916?) is at ML Px (D?)436 (details under plate illegible in photocopy). He died at Potts Point on 11 October 1949, survived by a daughter Dorothy Ure Smith , b.1921, and son by his second wife[?], Ethel Bickley, who also survived him. His longtime mistress was the designer and decorator Hera Roberts .
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