In a vivid state: Ten of the best Queenslander covers
The Queenslander was the Saturday summary and literary edition of the Brisbane Courier (now The Courier-Mail). Launched by the Brisbane Newspaper Company in 1866, it was published until 1939. State Library has digitised around 1000 coloured covers and pages from The Queenslander and we asked Joan Bruce, Specialist Librarian in Queensland Memory and State Library treasure, to share with us her top ten Queenslander covers and their appeal.
Joan: For some reason, the shapes of palm trees appeal to human beings. I also like the stylised look of the unexpected colour scheme.
Joan: I like this because the cockatoo has got attitude. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.
Joan: I like this because it’s a great cover. It’s dominated by human faces, they’re staring straight at you, and smiling, there’s a dash of bright colour in the woman’s hat, and the binoculars add visual interest.
Joan: Such an elegant tourist. I wonder whether she took the train or motored down to Southport. The road was “in excellent condition with the exception of a very few miles between Yatala and Pimpana Creek”, according to Brisbane’s Daily Standard.
Joan: Who could fail to like the action in this cover. It reminds me of a photograph of my Uncle Jim and his brothers going hell for leather, out near Yelarbon somewhere.
Joan: Because it’s so politically incorrect.
Joan: Because it’s Errol Flynn of course, a stalwart of the ‘men in tights’ era of movie making.
Joan: It’s tough being a dog. Although I’m not a real fan of Garnet Agnew's covers, this image broadcasts the message loud and clear.
Joan: Maybe I like this because I grew up on a banana farm, but I also like the artwork. Arthur George William Sparrow was a commercial artist from New Zealand who worked in Australia from 1917 to 1930.
Joan: I like the bold, bright artwork. It’s perfect for a cover. Also, the black cockatoos are assaulting my ears at the moment so I know just how she feels.
Enjoy the colourful illustrated covers and pages of The Queenslander newspaper in our collection through our Discover the Queenslander interface. Browse by year, keyword, artist or colour palette to explore the vintage images and share what you find with others.
Want more of The Queenslander? (of course you do):