Born Sydney, Australia 1899, died Sydney 1961


Herbert Badham studied at the Sydney Art School intermittently between 1925–38 under Julian Ashton, George Lambert and H.C. Gibbons. His preferred subjects were typical of Sydney’s 1930s and 1940s modernist artists, including beach scenes, everyday urban life and figure studies.

During the 1950s Badham experimented with abstraction, his greatest sources of influence comprising the work of the Sydney artists Rah Fizelle, Grace Crowley and Ralph Balson. Study for The Expulsion (1956) combines surrealist and contemporaneous influences in its depiction of the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Other associations in the work are with French Orphism and the colour studies of Roy de Maistre.

Badham exhibited with the Society of Artists from 1927 until his death, and was exhibited posthumously thereafter. During his career he was included in the retrospective exhibition of the Sydney Art School 1890–1933, and in 150 years of Australian art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1938). Badham also produced two books, A study of Australian Art, Currawong Press, Sydney, 1949, and A Gallery of Australian Art, Currawong Press, Sydney, 1954.

His work is represented in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Victoria, Bendigo Art Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery and the New England Regional Art Museum.