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.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, December 6, 1919, State Library of Queensland. Caption: Christmas number.

Joan: For some reason, the shapes of palm trees appeal to human beings. I also like the stylised look of the unexpected colour scheme.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, July 23, 1931, State Library of Queensland. Caption: "Cocky" lays down the law.

Joan: I like this because the cockatoo has got attitude. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, July 11 1935, State Library of Queensland.

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.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, January 15, 1931, State Library of Queensland. Caption: Back from the holidays.

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

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, June 15, 1938, State Library of Queensland. Caption: Over the top.

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.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, October 10, 1935, Garnet Agnew, State Library of Queensland.

Joan: Because it’s so politically incorrect.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, July 13, 1938, State Library of Queensland. Caption: Errol Flynn as Robin Hood

Joan: Because it’s Errol Flynn of course, a stalwart of the ‘men in tights’ era of movie making.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 15, 1929, Garnet Agnew, State Library of Queensland.

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.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, December 6, 1928, A. G. W. Sparrow, State Library of Queensland. Caption: For Christmas.

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.

 

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, June 13, 1935, Joan Rhys, State Library of Queensland.

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):

  • Read more about the Discover the Queenslander interface on our blog.
  • Buy a vintage print of the Queenslander online at the Library Shop.
  • Order a Copy of a Queenslander image of your choice via our website.
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