cartoonist, illustrator, writer and book designer, was born in Glebe, Sydney on 2 October 1920 but has mainly lived in Melbourne, where he still resides. Jo Holder visited him there in 1998 to borrow works from his collection for the S.H. Ervin b/w exhibition, since as well as having an outstanding collection of original cartoons he is the leading historian of cartooning in Australia.
Lindesay served as a signalman with a machine-gun regiment in Darwin during WWII then for the last three years of the war was on the art staff of the Australian Army Education journal Salt , where he became senior artist. Examples include cover of 2/2 (25 March 1946) Graving Dock (ill. Lindesay WWW , 146). After his discharge in 1946 he worked briefly for the Melbourne Herald then spent three years in England, followed by a career on the staff of the Melbourne Argus until it folded in 1957. In 1979 he was said to have had cartoons in the Australasian Post for 25 years, e.g. bush cartoons 1977 and 1979 (ill. Lindesay 1979, 319), a drawing of a minister and man with bull annotated 'Post March 17, 57 (NLA R11406). His personal collection of cartoons includes Post originals such as swaggie to housewife, “Would you have a coat to match this button?” Others include 2 drunks in the bush seeing giant lizards with one saying to the shocked other, “Oh them – Chlemydosaurus kingii I believe!” published Australasian Post 6 May [1975 or earlier], 48; and 2 undertakers, one saying “Cheer up old man – every cloud has a radio-active lining” (shown at S.H. Ervin 1999). Three ML originals of the 1960s, including one of 1965 (PXD 764), were presumably done for Post too.
A pioneer historian of Australian cartoon history, Vane Lindesay’s essays and features on Australian cartoons and cartoonists, as well as his own cartoons, have been published (among others) in the Age , Inkspot , Overland (for which he was design editor for years), the Australian Book Review , the ADB (eg entry on Will Dyson ), The Australian Encyclopedia and The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons and Cartoonists (20+ entries in the Australian section).
During the 1980s Vane’s work regularly appeared in the Bulletin . He has won many awards for his book designs as well as his cartoons. He illustrated The Yarns of Billy Borker (A&R, c.1980?) et al. (mostly comic writing, mainly about outback subjects). His cartoons have been published in England and America and exhibited in Japan and Canada. A long-serving committee member of the Australian Black and White Artists’ Club (1994), he was at times president and vice-president (Vic.) for almost thirteen years, until handing over to Ian McCall in November 1996. He won the Bulletin black and white artists’ award in 1988 and the Australian Book Publishers’ Award of Honour in 1991. Lives at Ripponlea, Victoria.