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Horseman, Marie Compston (Mollie) (1911 - 1974)

Born
9 December 1911
Rochester, Victoria, Australia
Died
7 May 1974
Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Cartoonist and Journalist

Summary

Mollie Horseman worked professionally as a cartoonist and illustrator for over forty years. In 1963 Everybody's Magazine called her 'Australia's only woman cartoonist'. While this was obviously not the case, she was probably the most visible woman working in the field. At their annual ball in 1956, her colleagues in the Australian Black and White Artists' Club 'smocked' her (presented her with an artist's smock decorated by fellow members) and she was later voted Sydney Savage Club 'Cartoonist of the Year'. In 1964 she was the only woman in a group photograph of forty-three professional cartoonists and one of nine women among 140 cartoonists in the survey exhibition Fifty Years of Australian Cartooning.

Although she was always able to draw, she was propelled forwards when she came to the attention of Norman Lindsay . Rose and Norman employed the teenage Mollie to be their children's governess. So impressed was he, recommended her to the National Art School. For financial reasons, she did not complete the course, but it was enough to sharpen her skills to ensure that she received regular employment. She worked regularly for Smith's Weekly and the Bulletin and her humorous cartoons made her a household name in the 1930s. Perhaps her best known characters were 'The Tipple Twins' two secretaries who regularly created office havoc in the pages of the Rydge's Business Journal, for which she freelanced in the 1940s. Many of her drawings may be found in the Mitchell Library, at the State Library of News South Wales.

Details

Events

c. 1928 - c. 1968
Career in journalism active

Sources used to compile this entry: Kerr, Joan (ed.), Heritage : the national women's art book, 500 works by 500 Australian women artists from colonial times to 1955, Craftsman House, Roseville East, NSW, 1995, 483 pp; Kerr, Joan, 'Horseman, Marie Compston (Mollie) (1911-1974)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/AS10232b.htm.

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Collection of cartoons and caricatures by various artists, 1890, 1917-1980, together with placemats and posters for journalists' functions and dinners, 1978-1998., 1890 - 1998, PXD 764; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Mollie Horseman : cartoon drawings and photograph, ca. 1955-1965 Mollie Horseman : cartoon drawings and photograph, ca. 1955-1965, 1955 - 1965, PXE 923 PXE 923; Horseman, Marie Compston (Mollie) (1911 - 1974); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Selection of cartoon drawings from Smith's Weekly, ca. 1930-1950, c. 1930 - c. 1950, PXD 840; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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