There was a gap of over five years before I returned to the man as part of A morning at NERAM - Flora, Cobcroft and Badham's Observing the Everyday (26 November 2013). Next day I ran a second post, A note on Herbert Badham, providing more information on Badham since the sources on him were so few. They still are.
On 7 July 2014 I used a Badham painting to illustrate a Monday Forum post, Monday Morning Forum – another open forum. There matters rested. It wasn't that I had lost interest in the man, I still looked out for his paintings in my irregular gallery visits, but there had been nothing new to spark my interest.
Then back in September came news that the export of a Badham painting, a 1944 piece called Snack Bar, had been blocked from export because of its national significance. The new owner appealed, but the appeal was rejected by the appeal tribunal. Now I quote from the newspaper report:.
In its judgement, the tribunal found that the painting showed a critical stage in Australia's history - during wartime and its development as a multicultural nation.
"The subject matter, which graphically records the interaction of different races, associating in congenial circumstances at a time of great danger for Australia is deeply impressive," it said..I thought that this was plain daft. The painting is quite interesting, but to describe it in those terms strikes me as an a-historical misrepresentation. .
marcellous kindly posted me a link to the appeal decision. I think that it's still daft.Explaining my reasons will have to wait. .
In comments, Winton suggested that the Badham painting had no comparison with this one. Perhaps not, but this is arguably Manet's most famous painting, his last major work.
DG suggested "Fine piece of genre art, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell". I hadn't thought of the Rocwell comparison, but could see the point.
marcellous looked at some of the legal issues.
@kvd: I doubt if it is appealable; probably need to show an error of law. Here any "error" is a difference in opinion about the cultural value of the picture and whether it should be allowed to leave our shores.
"appears" is a kind of tribunial circomlocution for it probably is and nobody disputes it - after all the applicant could always have brought the picture to court if it wanted the tribunal to view the original. So unlikely to be a source of legal error there.
@2 tanners: issue is not whether present owner will make the painting available, but whether subsequent owners for all time will do so. Legislation is aimed at the long view and in acknowledgement that countries can't do much once an object departs their shores. Once the purchaser paid that much he was always facing a risk because it is the value [for which price is the only real proxy] which indicates the cultural significance.marecellous went on to clarify value: "I should clarify my comment about the price being a proxy for value: it is a presumptive proxy which enlivens the requirement for a permit".
This, by the way, is a very different Badham
2 tanners responded to marcellous on the appeal point::
I imagine the decision could be appealed on the basis of the fact that the Commission couldn't distinguish between significant and important, or just possibly that the commission dismissed evidence on a painting that it had at no stage seen, preferring evidence from other parties one of whom had initially argued for there to be no ban.I doubt that the very last point would hold, But, on the surface, the first might be possible. But then it leaves open another question, why are we "protecting" these things in the first place? .