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Sydney’s Chloe & the Sussex Hotel

Sussex Hotel Sydney 1949 anu

Sussex Hotel, corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets, Sydney 1949. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

sydney chloe sussex hotel 1954

Edward Bourke with his painting “Chloe the Second”

By MICK ROBERTS ©

THE rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney is legendary.

While Melbourne is often regarded as the fashion, arts, and cultural capital of Australia, Sydney may be called the finance and media capital – more a party town, I suppose.

This can be reflected in its pubs.

By the mid 1950s, Melbourne’s Young and Jackson’s Hotel had become famous for the nude, Chloe – a 260 by 139cm oil canvas painting of a young Parisian girl – hanging in its bar.

Sydney pubs, however, boasted no such artistic attraction.

That was until “Chloe the Second” was unveiled by Sydney publican, Claude Edwards in his Sussex Hotel.

There was no need for Melbourne to fret though.

Melbourne’s Chloe had been produced by French figure painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875, while Sydney’s ‘Chloe the Second’ was the creation of “spare-time artist” Edward Bourke in 1954.

Bourke, 58, presented his painting to publican Edwards, who unveiled ‘Chloe the Second’ in a corner of his public bar on Monday September 6 1954.

While the original Chloe, a bosomy nude, has graced the walls of Young and Jackson’s Hotel in Melbourne since 1909, the fate of Sydney’s ‘copy’ remains a mystery.

Arguably in a further demonstration of Sydney’s artistic cringe, the Sussex Hotel closed in the 1980s, and was demolished.

High rise apartments now sit where the pub traded on the north western corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets in Sydney.

Where ‘Chloe the Second’ ended up is anyone’s guess.

© Copyright Mick Roberts 2018

Sussex Hotel Sydney 1960 anu

Sussex Hotel, corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets, Sydney 1960. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

site of sussex hotel sydney google

The site of the Sussex Hotel, corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets, Sydney (right). Photo: Google Streetview.

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Categories: Melbourne Hotels, Sydney hotels

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