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Images of pub life.

17 artworks
  • Drinking college

    A tavern for gents; dozing dogs and pipe smoke.

    The 'Charing Cross Arms' 1819
    Harrison
    Oil on canvas
    H 41.3 x W 68 cm
    Compton Verney
    The 'Charing Cross Arms'
    Photo credit: Compton Verney

  • Behind the bar

    The Victorians were obsessed with the beauty of barmaids.

    Barmaid c.1898
    William Nicholson (1872–1949)
    Lithographic reproduction from woodcut on paper
    H 25.4 x W 22.8 cm
    The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)
    Barmaid
    Photo credit: The Courtauld

  • Where did you get that 'at?

    What colour is the pub? Red-black-brown-gold, lights catching and twinkling.

    Bar at a Public House c.1900
    John Duncan Fergusson (1874–1961)
    Oil on cardboard
    H 32.4 x W 23.5 cm
    University of Stirling
    Bar at a Public House
    © The Fergusson Gallery, Perth and Kinross Council, Scotland. Photo credit: University of Stirling

  • Knocking

    Pub games are an important part of pub life. Dominoes are tactile and tactical.

    The Domino Players 1910
    Edward Joseph Head (1863–1937)
    Oil on canvas
    H 95.5 x W 117.5 cm
    Tenby Museum & Art Gallery
    The Domino Players
    Photo credit: Tenby Museum & Art Gallery

  • Cornish corner

    A hard-working harbourside inn at Newlyn in Cornwall.

    Tolcarne Inn 1935
    Dod Procter (1892–1972)
    Oil on canvas
    H 63 x W 75 cm
    Penlee House Gallery & Museum
    Tolcarne Inn
    © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Penlee House Gallery & Museum

  • Beer shortages

    During World War II, pubs were overrun with soldiers, and often short on beer.

    Conversation in the Bar 1942
    William D. Dring (1904–1990)
    Oil on canvas
    H 33 x W 44 cm
    Dudley Museums Service
    Conversation in the Bar
    © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Dudley Museums Service

  • Low light

    A moment in the long, complicated history of women in pubs.

    In a Bar 1943
    Frederick William Elwell (1870–1958)
    Oil on canvas
    H 82 x W 62.5 cm
    Ferens Art Gallery
    In a Bar
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Ferens Art Gallery

  • Beer-soaked carpet and nicotine

    A Victorian survivor in post-war London.

    Mr Hollingberry's Canary c.1950
    Ruskin Spear (1911–1990)
    Oil on board
    H 163 x W 83.5 cm
    Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
    Mr Hollingberry's Canary
    © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

  • Pop and crisps

    Children on the pub doorstep – a familiar sight before the emergence of the children's room and the family pub.

    The Bookies' Close c.1956
    Thomas McGoran (b.1927)
    Acrylic on canvas
    H 40 x W 56 cm
    Glasgow Museums
    The Bookies' Close
    © the artist. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

  • Still life

    This could be from any year from about 1930 to 1970 – often the way with pubs.

    'The Crown'
    Lynton Harold Lamb (1907–1977)
    Oil on canvas
    H 63 x W 76 cm
    Essex County Council
    'The Crown'
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Essex County Council

  • Mod cons

    A post-war pub refurb in modern style, probably with a 'cocktail bar', not that this old boy with his bottle of brown ale is bothered.

    Bar Parlour c.1960
    Harry Rutherford (1903–1985)
    Oil on canvas
    H 47.5 x W 37.8 cm
    Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection
    Bar Parlour
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection

  • Albion, Albion!

    A pint of Bass and the temptation to temperance.

    Sunday in Albion Street, Coventry 1961
    William T. Wright (active 1948–1969)
    Oil on board
    H 35.5 x W 45.5 cm
    Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
    Sunday in Albion Street, Coventry
    © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

  • Red Barrel

    A Victorian pub with modern keg beer – the unmistakeable Watney's brand.

    Bar Scene, 'The Salisbury' 1970
    Rupert Shephard (1909–1992)
    Oil on board
    H 35.5 x W 45 cm
    Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
    Bar Scene, 'The Salisbury'
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

  • Upmarket drinking experiences

    The carpeted, regimental-tie-wearing stiffness of the middle-class pub.

    Alex Scott in the 'Pewter Pot' Pub 1977
    Alasdair Gray (1934–2019)
    Acrylic & ink on paper
    H 31 x W 61 cm
    Glasgow Museums
    Alex Scott in the 'Pewter Pot' Pub
    © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

  • Hazy with booze

    A crowd outside a Glasgow pub attired in serious drinking trousers.

    'Castle Vaults' c.1978
    Ernest Hood (1932–1988)
    Oil on board
    H 40.1 x W 50.7 cm
    Glasgow Museums
    'Castle Vaults'
    © the copyright holder. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

  • New pubs, same as the old pubs

    Pints of ale and stout, overflowing ashtrays, sanctioned misbehaviour.

    Karaoke 1992
    Beryl Cook (1926–2008)
    Oil on board
    H 81.5 x W 88.9 cm
    Glasgow Museums
    Karaoke
    © the artist's estate. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

  • The Saloon Bar

    Close that door on the way out, will ya?

    The Saloon Bar
    Ruskin Spear (1911–1990)
    Oil on canvas
    H 79 x W 52.5 cm
    Reading Museum
    The Saloon Bar
    © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Reading Museum