Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Tooth's KB Lager Cool and Refreshing!

Date: 1953
Overall: 1200 x 1303 mm
Medium: Oil on glass, frame original oak
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00015659
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This pub art was painted by Tom Woodman to advertise Tooth's KB lager. It portrays both a popular Australian past time and a rare subject for pub posters, sailing on Sydney Harbour. Pub posters were affixed to the tiled walls outside Australian pubs as a celebration of the great Australian obsession with sport.
    SignificancePub paintings were deliberately chosen to emphasise, reflect and reinforce local interests. This pub poster represents a rare subject for pub artists - yachting.

    HistoryThe subject of this pub poster is a rare choice for pub artists despite the popularity eighteen footers enjoyed during the 1930s and 1940s. Pub artists relied heavily on newspaper photographs for their images and yachting was seen as an elitist sport that rarely pictured in the popular press. The slogan 'cool and refreshing' was considered by breweries to have strong selling power.

    The concept of the pub as a picture gallery came originally from Sydney portrait painter Jules Henry Roy Rousel. Rousel had been trained at the Royal Art School in Sydney and at the Slade and Royal Academy schools in London. In the 1920s Rousel took over a failing sign writing business. In 1929 he sketched English statesman Earl Balfour, with a revolutionary idea to hang the portrait behind glass on the outside of the Lord Balfour Hotel on the corner of Elizabeth and King Streets. The Balfour portrait caused an immediate sensation, crowds gathering to watch the construction of the glass panels on the hotel. This bold new idea had taken art out of the gloomy cloisters of the galleries and brought it to the people.

    Rousel saw the potential of pub pictorials providing other groups and districts a sense of personal connection with their favorite pubs. From the Tooth's board, Rousel secured a trial patch of pub paintings with sporting scenes including a clear message that Tooth's beer was the breakfast of champions. Rousel was responsible for the development of the pub poster as a popular and iconic addition to the Australian pub.

    Tom Woodman (1901-1959) migrated to Australia from England in 1924. Woodman worked as a commercial artist and theatre set painter in Melbourne before moving to Sydney. Between 1936 and his death, Woodman produced numerous pub paintings and other commissions for Tooth & Co.

    Tooth & Co Ltd was established in 1835 and incorporated in New South Wales in 1888, the company was acquired by Carlton & United Breweries in 1983. There was a time in a bygone era, when every Australian pub wasn't complete unless it had its own Tooth & Co pub poster.

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.