Friday, May 24, 2013

Leonard Cornwall Mitchell 1901-1971

Leonard Cornwall Mitchell (1901-1971) was born in Wellington and completed a signwriting apprenticeship in Palmerston North, before commencing work for the Government Publicity Department on tourism paraphenalia. Mitchell designed posters, booklet covers, coins and over 90 NZ stamps. Mitchell's son Victor Leonard William Mitchell (1925-1980) became an artist in his own right and was the owner of Wellington's mid century Lambton Art Galleries. The colour images below come from a tourism booklet that combined Mitchell's bold colour depictions with black and white photography showcasing early twentieth century New Zealand.

I found a couple examples of Mitchell's work as a cartoonist in the New Zealand edition of Aussie magazine dated June 14th 1924. The New Zealand edition of Aussie featured a New Zealand section edited by journalist Pat Lawlor who also edited a series of New Zealand Artist's annual that featured many of fine cartoonists of the era in the late 1920's/early 1930's. Other New Zealand cartoonists featured in Aussie included Noel Cook, Geoffrey Keith Townshend, Unk White, and George Duncan.

Grateful thanks to Geoff Harrison for supplying the Aussie Magazine images.


DARIAN ZAM said...

Great post collecting some of his work together.
He worked for Filmcraft in the Twenties, later the Narional Film Unit. Other clients in the 1930s were W.D. & H.O. Wills Tobacco, NZ Post Office, and in the 1940s Coulls Somerville Wilkie which eventually became Whitcoulls. His career with the NZ Post Office lasted up until his demise.
Cover of Aussie 1924 by Marcus King, who also did tourism posters 1930s, as well as a significant stint with the National Film Unit.

Peter Alsop said...

Good post thx. LCM one of my faves. His cartoons pepper the NZ Artist's Annual. I have a bit of other LCM stuff if anyone is ever doing work on him. The M.King cover is not "the" Marcus King - at least according to his son. There were 2 M.Kings in the day, which led Marcus to change his signature to the flambouyant one we now know. Warren Feney and I are well advanced on a King book.

DARIAN ZAM said...

It looks like some of these scenes were probably reworked by Carl Thorwald Laugesen during his tenure for the Government Tourist Office, based on Leonard Mitchell's original work, for a 1939 set of ten cinderellas, issued for the New Zealand Centennial celebrations.