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Original Sydney Harbour Poster Design 1932 Gouache Painting

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  • £2,200.00
  • €2,617 Euro
  • $2,861 US Dollar

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Item Description

Sydney Harbour poster

Sydney Harbour Bridge poster design

Attributed to Douglas Annand in our opinion this was an original drawing for the 1932 poster competition.

In 1932 poster competition committee asked Douglas Annand and Arthur Whitmore to collaborate together to produce the now-famous 19th March 1932 poster.

There are clear similarities between ours and the collaborated poster.

Our design clearly shows more of an art deco and feminine design, as opposed to the more masculine, collaborated Sydney Harbour bridge poster design.

Our drawing is Gouache on paper laid down on the artist's board.

The drawing is in the original frame and mount dated March 1932 and is unsigned.


Douglas Shenton Annand (1903-1976), graphic designer and artist, was born on 22 March 1903 at Toowoomba, Queensland, the third child of Frederick William Gadsby Annand, accountant, and his wife Helen Alice, née Robinson, both Queenslanders. Having taken the commercial course at the Central Technical College, Brisbane, in 1920 Douglas joined the English, Scottish & Australian Bank. Five years later he began work as a commercial artist at Reed Press and attended night classes at Brisbane Central Technical College under L. J. Harvey. While being taught by F. J. Martyn Roberts, Annand freelanced in 1926: he was commissioned by a Brisbane jewellery firm and prepared wildflower designs for the Royal Worcester Co. Ltd, England. On 18 August 1928, he married Maida Fulcher Morris (d.1954) at the Ann Street Presbyterian Church, Brisbane; they were to have two sons.

He was employed by Samson Clark & Co. Ltd, an advertising agency, from 1928 and transferred to its Sydney office in 1930; retrenched, he joined Allied Advertising Artists. In 1931 he left to become a freelance artist and designer. Working from his studio in Sydney, he was initially assisted by his sister Helen. At first, he concentrated on graphic design, especially for textiles, wrapping papers, labels, magazine covers and advertisements. Between 1935 and 1939 he drew for Sydney Ure Smith's publications, the Home, Art in Australia and the Australian National Journal. In 1937 he designed the ceiling for the Australian pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition; he was art director (1938-39) of the Australian exhibition at the New York World's Fair where his murals brought major recognition.

In 1941-44 Annand was a camouflage artist with the Royal Australian Air Force. Stationed for two years in North Queensland, he painted and drew regularly, and exhibited watercolours in Sydney and Melbourne. His linear style often used simple colour washes for dramatic effect. The strongest paintings placed ambiguous perspectives and compressed forms in a symbolic relationship and united them with the landscape to form a framing but a secondary aspect of the composition. Some of these works revealed the influence of the British artist Paul Nash. After the war, Annand became more involved in mural painting and completed commissions for the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the office of radio station 2UE, the University of Melbourne's new Wilson Hall and the international terminal at Sydney airport. From the mid-1950s he developed an interest in architectural work, like the large, glass structures he completed in 1966 for the Colonial Sugar Refining Co., Sydney.

Tall and balding, with brown eyes and a trim moustache, Annand was gentle in manner and a discursive talker. His innovative experiments with diverse media led to new approaches and injected vitality into the design arts. In 1932 he won a competition to design a poster to celebrate the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Awarded two Australian Commercial and Industrial Artists' Association medals in 1940, he won the Sulman Prize for his murals in 1941, 1947 and 1951. His posters won prizes in 1960 at the Adelaide Festival of Arts and in 1968 at Milan, Italy. He was a member of the Society of Artists, the Contemporary Art Society, Sydney, and the Society of Industrial Designers, London.

On 12 March 1957 at Wesley Church, Melbourne, Annand had married a divorcee Ann Selwyn, née Moran, late McCrae; he divorced her in 1962. Survived by a son of his first marriage, he died on 14 December 1976 at Wahroonga, Sydney, and was cremated. His work is held in the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and in State galleries in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.


Bettina MacAulay, 'Annand, Douglas Shenton (1903–1976)', Australian Dictionary of Biography


Width 45 cm

Height 22 cm

Including frame

width 65 cm

Height 41 cm



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Item Info

Seller Location

Seaford, Sussex

Item Dimensions

H: 22cm W: 45cm



Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

Seaford, Sussex

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)776 1984805

+44 (0)7565 761917