Bruce Petty – RIP

Australian cartoonist Bruce Petty has passed away.

Bruce Leslie Petty
November 23, 1929 – April 6, 2023

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Australian cartoonist, filmmaker and satirist Bruce Petty has died at the age of 93.

In a statement, his family said Petty died peacefully this morning.

“He leaves behind his loving family and will be dearly missed,” the statement said.

Born in Melbourne’s north-east suburb of Doncaster in 1929, Petty began his art career at an animation studio in Box Hill in 1949.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

After a stint in the art department at Melbourne’s Herald newspaper, Petty relocated to London in 1954, aged 25. There he worked in theatre design and had his work published in the satirical magazine Punch. “Every week I tried to submit 10 drawings,” he said. “They might take one or might take none, or might take three.”

In 1961 Bruce returned to Australia which is how he gets to this North America-centric site.

From the Australian Cartoonists Association Petty biography:

Eventually homesickness got to him. He decided it was time to return to Melbourne. The path he took included a stopover in New York where he sold cartoons to Esquire, Saturday Evening Post and the New Yorker. It was his cartoons in Punch that got him in the door of these magazines. He worked in New York for about eight weeks where New Yorker gave him use of a room on Thursdays and Fridays. James Thurber used it on other days.

From The Australian Media Hall of Fame:

A Petty cartoon has tendrils of thought that can reach across the entire political landscape.

Bruce Petty’s bold ‘scribbles’ are as at home on the screen as on the page. His work in several media is characterised by his depiction of multiple interconnected concepts rather than a single idea. Although best known for his political cartoons in The Age for more than three decades, Petty was an Oscar-winning animated film maker, an etcher, an AFI award-winning documentary maker and a creator of ‘machine sculptures’, one of which was exhibited in the Australian Pavilion at World Expo ’85.

The Chrysalis Gallery has a selection of Bruce Petty art.

One thought on “Bruce Petty – RIP

  1. I have warm memories of Bruce Petty, met at the Brisbane Trades Hall sometime in the late 1960s when he took a generous interest in the work of 3 young art students from Kelvin Grove. Valé Bruce.
    Maybe the NGA will give you a tribute exhibition?

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