cartoonist, caricaturist, engraver, wood-carver and guitarist, was born in Hobart. As the Tasmanian Mail and Critic 's artist, Midwood is said to have caricatured every well-known person [man?] in the city, as well as engraving scenes of Hobart. A cartoon attributed to Midwood, said to be of William Crowther robbing Lanne’s grave, is illustrated in Intellect and Emotion: Essays in Honour of Michael Roe ed. David Walker and Michael Bennett. The only known print (or is it an ink original?) is in Crowther Album vol.1, 1817-85, SLT. Why was it done?

ALMFA (181, cabinet 7 drawer 5) has Midwood’s pen and ink originals, Scene of the Late Railway Accident (at the Ring Culvert) T.M.L.R . and Tasmanian Timber Trophy , the latter inscribed 'illustrated by T. Midwood and E.W.N. Butcher from a design by G.S. Perrin Esq. F.L.S. Conservator of Forests/ Melbourne Centennial Exhibition 1888’. The enormous drawing, which shows both the trophy (like a fountain made of wood) and a vignette 'Portions of interior of promenade’ (with rustic chairs en route), is signed only by Midwood so appears to be the cover design for an illustrated booklet on this major Tasmanian exhibit, which is known to have been published at least when the trophy was shown at the 1894-95 Tasmanian International Exhibition, though no copy is known. (For the Bellerive drinking fountain lithograph see THRA vol 41/4 (December 1994) – info. Gillian Winter.)

ALMFA and the Tasmaniana Collection, SLT, hold numerous original caricatures of local male notables by Midwood. ALMFA also has A Fashionable Night and a Big Treat , a lithograph showing lots of women each labelled 'Sorell’ flanking a large caricature of a man holding 'Juvenile Exhibition Ticket for 50’ (Launceston 1891-92). ALMFA has a photograph of a lithograph by Midwood comprising lots of cards, each containing a caricature of a well-known Tasmanian man and a single woman – a fat lady labelled 'A Tasmanian beauty’. Nevin Hirst of Masterpiece Gallery apparently has – or had – the original lithograph, acc. Heather Curnow. Midwood himself, a tall thin man, appears third from left in the top row, captioned:

“Oh yes, Oh yes. Here I am,

An Artist True and Smart

And with my Brush will fight the World

For I am a BONEY-PART”

A collection of Midwood’s caricatures was presented to Narryna, the VDL Folk Museum, by the artist’s son, E. Midwood. Included are some splendid large wooden sculptures of caricatured Tasmanian types as well as individuals. William Moore states that Midwood later toured America as a guitarist with a travelling musical show.

Kerr, Joan
Date written:
Last updated: