Tobacco Queue, Karangahape Road, Auckland

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Oil on board
410 x 520mm

Tobacco Queue, Karangahape Road, Auckland (or simply Tobacco Queue) is a characteristic Bessie Christie subject. She has observed a typical wartime activity, painting it with dashing informality in contrast to the rather tight, studied watercolour technique she used earlier in her career.

Christie is a good example of a talented artist who managed to surmount the obstacles of a conventional art education and maintain a fresh approach to subject matter in the face of prevailing fashion. In recent years, her work, although rarely found, has become increasingly sought after because of its originality.

Tobacco Queue was shown under that title in the Rutland Group Annual Exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery.[1]


[1] ‘News from the Centres’, Art in New Zealand 62 (December 1943): 2.

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Exhibition History

Rutland Group Annual Exhibition, Auckland City Art Gallery (later Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki), 31 October to 14 November 1943


Eric Lee-Johnson (ed.), Arts Year Book 6 (Te Whanganui-a-Tara: The Wingfield Press, 1950), 83.


Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased 1978

Collection of Charles Tole, likely a gift of the artist