Works in the Herald 1933

"The long-haired artist seems to have died a natural death," said a speaker at the Victorian Artists Society's show recently. He omitted to add, however, that in the modern manner, the mane now seems to be reappearing as a beard.

When artists wore a flowing mane,
Then, in a sentimental vein,
   With pastorals they lured the eye,
   Or sad, sweet scenes of sea and sky.
But now that hair sprouts from the face
They chuck their paint about the place
   And, in the modern manner, seek
   To baffle one with the unique.
I've often wondered if this surge
Of hirsute foam denotes some urge
   Artistic that controls and sways
   The hand and brain to newer ways.
For instance, might we not expect
An artist in dundrearies decked
   In other manner to behave
   From him who wore a monkey shave?
I've known but one of this quaint throng
Who wore both hair and whiskers long,
   But he, poor bloke, was short of cash,
   And wore a full beard and moustache
That he might draw on this supply
When price of brushes soared to high ...
   But there are ways, it seems to me.
   To test my novel theory.

If some brave man would range the land
And catch a few of this quaint band
   And hold them captive for a while
   Who knows what tricks of school and style
One might evolve if, to each man,
We gave a different hirsute plan?
   You doubt, perhaps?  But all the same,
   There might be money in the game.

Herald, 5 October 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002