School of Art

Contact Details

School of Art
Aberystwyth University
Buarth Mawr
SY23 1NG

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622460

Fax: +44 (0)1970 622461


Display artist/maker:

Phil May

Born: 1864, UK, England, Leeds, Wortley   Died: 1903, London

Cartoonist and illustrator. The son of an engineer, he was orphaned at the age of nine and endured a poverished childhood. He worked as a timekeeper, a jockey and an assistant to a theatre painter before moving to London in 1883 where he sold drawings of stage celebrities to theatre-goers. He then travelled to Australia to work for 'The Sydney Bulletin', 1885-88, before returning to London, via Italy and Paris, where from 1889 he worked as a cartoonist for 'The St Stephen's Review' and as a book illustrator. From 1890 he was employed by 'The Graphic' who sent him to America in 1893. He then worked for 'Punch' and, between 1892 and 1904, published many of his drawings and cartoons in the 'Phil May Annual'. His cartoons often commented on the poverty of urban working class life but were rarely controversial. A heavy drinker, he died at the peak of his career from a wasting disease

Objects in the collections associated with this artist/maker

Nothing if not Classical WD477 WaterColourOrDrawings