Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Lindsay, Raymond

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Lindsay, Raymond

Born in 1903, artist and journalist Raymond Lindsay was the second child of Norman Lindsay and his first wife Katie Parkinson. Although born in Melbourne, Ray was raised by his mother in Brisbane.

After working as a journalist, Ray followed his brothers Jack and Philip to Sydney in 1921 and found employment working as a contributing cartoonist on several publications.

With a lifelong interest in art he trained at Julian Ashton's art school, at the Queen Victoria Building, during the early 1920s, but later left after disagreeing with Ashton's teaching methods.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s Ray found minor fame as a painter of historically themed paintings, especially after one of his large works, Major Johnson announcing the arrest of Governor Bligh, was purchased by Dame Nellie Melba in 1928.

Despite a lack of lasting success in his painting career, Ray became the art critic for the Daily Telegraph newspaper. He died of cancer in 1960. He was married twice and had no children.

Ray's Letter from Sydney (1983), originally written as a long private letter in 1959, provided valuable research for Jack Lindsay's The Roaring Twenties (1960). Ray's letter was later described in a Sydney Morning Herald book review, written by historian Peter Spearritt, as 'one of the wittiest and bitchiest letters ever written from this city'.


Silas Clifford-Smith, 'Raymond Lindsay', Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, Sydney, http://www.daao.org.au/main/read/7077, viewed 20 November 2008

Jack Lindsay, The Roaring Twenties: Literary Life in Sydney New South Wales in the Years 1921–6, The Bodley Head, London, 1960

Ray Lindsay, Letter from Sydney, Jester Press, Melbourne, 1983

Ursula Prunster, The Legendary Lindsays, The Beagle Press, Roseville NSW, c1995