Little is known about Len Reynolds, a Tasmanian cartoonist who made his name in Melbourne, before dying tragically at the early age of 44.

Mr Melbourne

L.F. Reynolds was a cartoonist and illustrator with the Melbourne Sun Pictorial and Evening Sun , and then as staff artist on the Melbourne Herald. In 1925 he took over the 'Mr Melbourne' cartoon strip created by Jimmy Bancks. Mr Melbourne was a popular strip in the papers.1

Mr Melbourne - by L.Reynolds - The Sun 20-Jul-25 Mr Melbourne-- Source: Trove
Mr Melbourne - by L.Reynolds - The Sun 20-Jul-25 Mr Melbourne-- Source: Trove


Prominent Personalities

During 1926-27 Reynolds produced a series of cartoons for the Melbourne based weekly newspaper 'Table Talk', with each drawing containing a selection of sketches. Most of these group sketches had a football theme.

After these initial sketches, Reynolds produced a series entitled "Prominent Personalities" also in 'Table Talk'. This series produced a sequence of beautifully drawn illustrations on major Victorian personalities from politicians, to artists and also sportsmen. The quality and skill of Len Reynolds can best be seen through this series.

Indeed, Australian Impressionist artist Arthur Streeton thought highly of this series. Writing a critique of a show by Ray Whiting, Streeton wrote.

Caricature demands good draughtsmanship and a penetrating capacity to discover some individual trait or characteristic. This feature must be exaggerated to the extent of comic absurdity while the artist preserves an unmistakable likeness or sense of portraiture......Not since the brilliant caricatures by Low and George Finey, of Sydney, and the "prominent personalities" by L. F. Reynolds has anything been exhibited in Melbourne of any Interest until now.''2

Streetons own Australian Rules painting, 'The National Game', is part of the Collection of the Art Gallery of NSW.
Arthur Streeton - The_National Game 1889
Arthur Streeton - The_National Game 1889


Examples of L.F. Reynolds illustrations can be found in3:
  • Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, TAS
  • Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, Castlemaine, VIC
  • Melbourne Savage Club, Melbourne, VIC
  • La Trobe Collection, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC
  • National Library of Australia, Canberra, ACT
  • Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW

Apart from newspaper illustrations, Reynolds drew cartoons for advertisements including 'The Lighter Side of Lawn Tennis' for Barnett Glass in 1927.

Reynolds regular illustrations stopped appearing in 'Table Talk' around 1930, though a series on dog breeds did later appear. It requires further investigation for when Reynolds stopped doing the 'Mr Melbourne' strip.


A Victoria Carnival Team Octette - Table Talk - 25-Aug-1927 p14
A Victoria Carnival Team Octette - Table Talk - 25-Aug-1927 p14
Nights at the League Table - Table Talk - 6-Oct-1927 p24
Nights at the League Table - Table Talk - 6-Oct-1927 p24
Table Talk - 16-Dec-1926 p25 - L. A. ADAMSON (MAFA President and Wesley College Principal) by LF Reynolds
Table Talk - 16-Dec-1926 p25 - L. A. ADAMSON (MAFA President and Wesley College Principal) by LF Reynolds
Table Talk 1-May-1930 p13 - Like McBrien - Secretary of the VFL
Table Talk 1-May-1930 p13 - Like McBrien - Secretary of the VFL


Table Talk 15 Oct 1931 P12 Lions And Lambs Reynolds
Table Talk 15 Oct 1931 P12 Lions And Lambs Reynolds
Table Talk 18 Jun 1931 P13 Richmond Reynolds
Table Talk 18 Jun 1931 P13 Richmond Reynolds
Table Talk 3 Jun 1926 P37 The Tribunal Quartette Reynolds
Table Talk 3 Jun 1926 P37 The Tribunal Quartette Reynolds



By Team

Carlton

Table Talk 2-Sep-1926 p8 The Blues
Table Talk 2-Sep-1926 p8 The Blues
Horrie Clover - Captain and Coach of Carlton - Table-Talk 11-Aug-1927 p15
Horrie Clover - Captain and Coach of Carlton - Table-Talk 11-Aug-1927 p15
Raw Brew - Captain of the Carlton Football Team - Table-Talk 18-Sep-1930 p12
Raw Brew - Captain of the Carlton Football Team - Table-Talk 18-Sep-1930 p12


Collingwood

Table Talk 10-jun-1926 p17 Magpies
Table Talk 10-jun-1926 p17 Magpies
Syd Coventry - Captain of Collingwood - Table Talk - 30-Jun-1927 p14
Syd Coventry - Captain of Collingwood - Table Talk - 30-Jun-1927 p14
The Coventrys of Collingwood Table-Talk 9-Oct-1930 p13
The Coventrys of Collingwood Table-Talk 9-Oct-1930 p13
Image


Fitzroy

Table Talk 10-May-1928 p15 - Gordon Ratttray
Table Talk 10-May-1928 p15 - Gordon Ratttray


Footscray

Table Talk 10 Sep 1931 Team Of The Moment Reynolds
Table Talk 10 Sep 1931 Team Of The Moment Reynolds


Geelong

Reynolds visits the Pivot - Table Talk - 29-Sep-1927 p16
Reynolds visits the Pivot - Table Talk - 29-Sep-1927 p16
Cliff Rankin - Geelongs Football Captain - Table-Talk 6-Oct-1927 p15
Cliff Rankin - Geelongs Football Captain - Table-Talk 6-Oct-1927 p15
Arthur Couglan - Captain of the Geelong Football Team - Table-Talk 2-Oct-1930 p11
Arthur Couglan - Captain of the Geelong Football Team - Table-Talk 2-Oct-1930 p11
Table Talk 29-May-1930 p10 - Edward Carji Greeves - Geelongs Celebrated Footballer
Table Talk 29-May-1930 p10 - Edward Carji Greeves - Geelongs Celebrated Footballer


Hawthorn

Table Talk 12-Jun-1930 p13 - Jack Harris - Hawthorns Football Captain
Table Talk 12-Jun-1930 p13 - Jack Harris - Hawthorns Football Captain


Melbourne

A Bunch of Fuchsias - LF Reynolds - Table Talk 28-Jul-1927 p12
A Bunch of Fuchsias - LF Reynolds - Table Talk 28-Jul-1927 p12
Table Talk 15-Jul-1926 p15 Redlegs
Table Talk 15-Jul-1926 p15 Redlegs
Stanley Bunny Wittman - Champion Wing Half-Forward - Table-Talk 31-Jul-1930 p17
Stanley Bunny Wittman - Champion Wing Half-Forward - Table-Talk 31-Jul-1930 p17
Albert Chadwick - The Popular League Footballer - Table-Talk 20-Jun-1929 p13
Albert Chadwick - The Popular League Footballer - Table-Talk 20-Jun-1929 p13
Table Talk 14-Jun-1928 p8 Dick Taylor
Table Talk 14-Jun-1928 p8 Dick Taylor
Ivor Warne-Smith - Victorias Fairest and Best Footballer - Table-Talk 5-May-1927 p15
Ivor Warne-Smith - Victorias Fairest and Best Footballer - Table-Talk 5-May-1927 p15


North Melbourne

Some of the Hardy Northmen - Table Talk - 2-Jun-1927 p24
Some of the Hardy Northmen - Table Talk - 2-Jun-1927 p24


Richmond

Table Talk 19-Aug-1926 p15 The Tigers
Table Talk 19-Aug-1926 p15 The Tigers
Alan Geddes - Captain of the Richmond Football Team - Table-Talk 29-Sep-1927 p13
Alan Geddes - Captain of the Richmond Football Team - Table-Talk 29-Sep-1927 p13


St Kilda

Some Prominent StKilda Footballers - Table Talk - 7-Jul-1927 p11
Some Prominent StKilda Footballers - Table Talk - 7-Jul-1927 p11
Bill Cubbins - Captain of St Kilda Football Club - Table Talk - 8-Aug-1929 p13
Bill Cubbins - Captain of St Kilda Football Club - Table Talk - 8-Aug-1929 p13


South Melbourne

Reynolds Goes Down South - Table Talk - 19-May-1927 p38
Reynolds Goes Down South - Table Talk - 19-May-1927 p38


1930's

In 1936 Reynolds's first "one-man" show including Water-colours, etchings, and pencil drawings at Margaret Maclean's Gallery, Kodak House, Collins street.4

Tragic Death

Tragically in August 1939, Len Reynolds died when his car went off a cliff in Beaumaris in Melbourne.

Argus 22-Aug-1939 p9
Argus 22-Aug-1939 p9



Further Work Needed

Further examples of Reynolds work will be found in the Sun News Pictorial which is not yet available online. Further examples of his work will be found in that paper.
Note - 4 images added 5-Nov-2017

Len Reynolds died in 1939. His works became public domain in 1989, 50 years after his death. Under Australia's current copyright laws, works for artists who died after 1954 have copyright extended to 75 after their death.

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End Notes


2. Caricatures and Paintings. (1934, August 7). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10986229
4. Art Show. (1936, October 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 8. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11922579