SOUTER, David Henry (1862-1935)


SOUTER, David Henry (1862-1935)
artist and journalist
son of an engineer, was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, on 30 March 1862. He studied art at the local branch of the South Kensington school, contributed to a local journal, Bon Accord, and went to Natal in 1881, where he engaged in journalism. He came to Sydney in 1886, obtained a position with John Sands and Company, contributed cartoons to the Tribune, and in 1888 founded the "Brush Club" of which he became president. In 1892 he began contributing drawings to the Bulletin, and for a period of 35 years had at least one drawing in every issue. There are various stories about the cat which so frequently appeared in his drawings, one being that it was evolved from a blot that fell on a drawing at the last moment, and another that it first appeared to fill in a blank space. When the Society of Artists was established at Sydney in 1895 Souter was elected to the council, and from 1901 to 1902 was its president. He was art editor of Art and Architecture from 1904 to 1911, and for many years was associated with William Brooks and Company and illustrated many of the school books issued by them. In his later years he was on the editorial staff of Country Life. He died suddenly at Sydney on 22 September 1935. He married Janet, daughter of David Swanson, who died in 1932, and was survived by two sons and three daughters.
Souter was a stocky, kindly, humorous, friendly, courageous man, who wrote short stories, verse, light articles and plays, with a capable and ready pen. His separate publications were The Grey Kimono: the Libretto of an Operetta, published in 1902, and Bush Babs: with Pictures, rhymes for children, with his own illustrations, which appeared in 1933. He did a fair amount of painting in water-colour, 10 examples were shown at the exhibition of the Society of Artists, held at Melbourne in 1907; but his reputation rests on his black and white work which considering the mass of it was very even in quality. A scrap-book containing a collection of his earlier work from the Bulletin is at the public library, Melbourne. A collection of his War Cartoons, reprinted from the Stock and Station Journal, was published at Sydney in 1915. He also illustrated volumes written by Ethel Turner and other Australian authors.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 September 1935; The Argus, Melbourne, 24 September 1935; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; The Bulletin, 25 September 1935.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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