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Images of pub life.

17 artworks

1819

The 'Charing Cross Arms'
Photo credit: Compton Verney

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

1898

Barmaid
Photo credit: The Courtauld

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)

1900

Bar at a Public House
© The Fergusson Gallery, Perth and Kinross Council, Scotland. Photo credit: University of Stirling

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

1910

The Domino Players
Photo credit: Tenby Museum & Art Gallery

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

1935

Tolcarne Inn
© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Penlee House Gallery & Museum

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

1942

Conversation in the Bar
© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Dudley Museums Service

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

1943

In a Bar
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Ferens Art Gallery

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

1950

Mr Hollingberry's Canary
© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

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

1956

The Bookies' Close
© the artist. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

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 Crown'
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Essex County Council

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

1960

Bar Parlour
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection

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

1961

Sunday in Albion Street, Coventry
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

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

1970

Bar Scene, 'The Salisbury'
© the artist's estate. 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

1977

Alex Scott in the 'Pewter Pot' Pub
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

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

1978

'Castle Vaults'
© 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

1992

Karaoke
© the artist's estate. 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

.

The Saloon Bar
© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Reading Museum

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