Collection M5 - Phil May Cartoon Collection

Index to M5

Identity area

Reference code



Phil May Cartoon Collection


  • c1886-1888 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Reprint of six cartoons

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Black and white artist, born on 27 April 1864 at New Wortley, Leeds, England, second son of Philip May (d.1873), brassfounder, and his wife Sarah Jane (d.1912), née Macarthy.In 1885 May acceptd a contract with the Sydney Bulletin for £20 per week. In Sydney May manifested a Bohemian pattern of life with many friends in theatrical and artistic circles. His drawings first appeared in the Bulletin in January 1886 and continued regularly until late in 1888 and spasmodically thereafter until 1894. Many were of a political character, often aimed at such well-known personalities as John Robertson, Henry Parkes and George Reid. Others depended on the observation of social types, as in the series entitled 'Things We See When We Go Out without our Gun'. At their best they combined satire, sympathy and accurate detail. Altogether May produced over 800 drawings for the Bulletin. For more information see :

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Undated reprints of six cartoons produced by May while he was employed by The Bulletin magazine.

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

May be consulted for research. Copyright reserved by The Bulletin

Conditions governing reproduction

This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact

When reusing this material, please cite the reference number and provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections”

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE June2019




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