This article features some of the rare surviving original artwork from the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery, which includes work by New Zealand born artists David Low, Unk White and George Finey.
Norman Lindsay 1879 – 1969
“The joke-block, to have permanence as art, must not only demonstrate technical excellence, but must reflect the life of its generation”
Once Bitten 1915
Grinder (with offensive candour): ‘Now that there mower only chaws the grass. It wants sharpenin’.Why, yesterday, for two bob I sharpened the one they got next door.’
Old Poi: ‘Yes, I just borrowed it’.
The Lost Fare
Lindsay had a great understanding of kids. He was unique in depicting children as entities with concerns of their own in his cartoons. He had a parallel career as a successful comic novelist, and one of his most popular books was Saturdee which dealt with the various adventures of young Australians at the beginning of the 20th century.
Livingstone Hopkins 1846 – 1917
This cartoon refers to Sir George Reid, the Scottish-born Australian politician who was Prime Minister in 1904 -5. He was also the Premier and Treasurer of NSW in the 1880s and helped with the draughting of the Commonwealth Constitution, even though his lack of enthusiasm for Federation confused voters and earned him the nick-name ‘Yes No Reid’. A large man with a walrus moustache, he was a popular subject for cartoonists of the day.
Police Trooper: ‘Well Jacky! What have you been up to this time?’
Jacky: ‘Not much, boss. Only swearing like a plurry trooper.’