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Percy Leason papers, circa 1929-2011

Leason, Percy Alexander, 1889-1959

Painter, Portrait painter, Educator, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 1.3 Linear feet; 0.402 Gigabytes

Summary: The papers of painter, illustrator, and educator Percy Leason measure 1.3 linear feet and 0.402 GB and date from circa 1929 to 2011. The collection documents his career through biographical material, correspondence, diaries, writings and notes, printed and digital material, photographic material, and a scrapbook.

Biographical/Historical Note

Percy Leason (1889-1959) was a painter, illustrator, writer, and educator from Kaniva, Victoria in Australia. Leason took an interest in art at an early age winning first prize in painting at the 1904 State Fair. He later attended art school in the town of Nhill, and in 1906, he went to Melbourne to be an apprentice at Sands and McDougall Lithographers. Soon after starting his apprenticeship, Leason moved to the art department where he began drawing illustrations for products and advertisements. In the evenings, he attended the Melbourne Gallery School where he studied art under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin. While in Melbourne, Leason associated himself with the Victorian Artist Society and lived a bohemian lifestyle. He began creating illustrations for books in 1914 and went on to do illustrations for the Sydney Bulletin, Melbourne Punch, Tabletalk Magazine, and the Melbourne Herald where he developed the Wiregrass cartoon series. In 1924, Leason and Max Meldrum, who Leason had met a few years before, discussed tonal realism, a systematic style of painting that uses light and shade to produce a misty quality. Leason's devotion to tonal realism along with his participation in Victorian Artist Society exhibitions helped advance his career. In 1934 Melbourne University commissioned him to do a series on Australian aborigines. He became interested in cave art and archeology during this time. In Cambridge, England in 1937 he presented his theory that cave artists sketched using dead animals as models.


Donated in 1969-1979 and 2014 by Max A. Leason, Percy Leason's son.

Language Note

The collection is in English