- Also known as
Norman Heywood Hardy
primary name: Hardy, Norman Heywood
- individual; painter/draughtsman; British; Male
- Life dates
- 69 Cathcart Studios, 44 Redcliffe Road, S.W. London (1908)
47 Priory Road, Bedford Park, London
- British traveller and artist. Left England for Australia in 1891, worked as a special artist with The Sydney Mail. Collected Australian Aboriginal materials and travelled to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, producing paintings which appear in The Savage South Seas (1907). Also visited China, illustrations appearing in Women of all Nations (1906?) and accompanied Emil Torday on his expedition to the Kasai, Congo in 1907. Sold groups of material from the Torday expeditions of 1907-9 to the BM (Af1908,0622.1 to 177; Af1909,0513.1 to 544). Member Royal Anthropological Institute from 1890. His Pacific paintings were collected by Edge Partington, A.W.F.Fuller and T.A. Joyce. Donated objects to British Museum and to Pitt Rivers Museum through Robert Francis Wilkins in 1900.
A British-born artist and illustrator, Norman H. Hardy spent seven years in Australia. In March 1892, as a 28 year old, Hardy began with the Sydney Mail, the Sydney Morning Herald’s popular illustrated weekend newspaper, at the rank of ‘artist’, later rising to ‘special artist’. When he resigned and returned to England in 1898, he was ‘principal artist’. While in Sydney, he made two trips to the Islands and published two full-page features in the Sydney Mail of sketches done during these visits. The other sketches from these two trips were later worked up as water from the ‘South Seas’. He was listed as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and wrote Adrift in New Zealand (London 1906) and Canada: the land of hope (London 1911), and co-authored The Rich Man’s Wife with Dick Donovan in 1911. Kansas City Journal, 7 Dec. 1898, 5; Rollo Arnold, The Farthest Promised Land: English villagers, New Zealand immigrants of the 1870s (Wellington 1981), 344. The New Hebrides was then ruled under the joint French and British Naval Commission of 1889, the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) had been under British control since 1893, and British New Guinea had been under British rule since 1884. The Sydney Mail noted that Hardy came from England at the same time as Frank Godart, who was attributed with introducing photoengraving to the Sydney Mail. It introduced illustrations in 1871, a woodcut of Queen Victoria, and an Illustrated Supplement in 1876. Frank. S. Greenop, History of Magazine Publishing in Australia (Sydney 1947), 117–38. 2 JOURNAL OF PACIFIC HISTORY 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 colours and published in The Savage South Seas. Halftone printing of photographs on newsprint was introduced in the mid-1890s, and as Hardy could see the end in sight for newspaper artists, he resigned in 1898, took a cruise to China and returned to England. Hardy changed career in England and became an illustrator of books on empire, the colonial frontier, the Grand Tour and Extract Europe’s wonderland, cities and picturesque countryside. He maintained his interest in Australia and the Pacific and provided 12 illustrations for Australia: peeps at many lands (London 1911) by Frank Fox, the well-known Australian author and London-based ‘imperialist’; 21 illustrations for Frank Wilkinson’s book, Australia at the Front: a colonial view of the Boer War (London 1901); and all the illustrations for the official government school reader, The Australian Commonwealth: its geography and history (London 191?). Hardy’s return to England was noted in Australian newspapers, where he was referred to as both a ‘semi-Australian’ and an ‘English painter’. He was listed as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute. As his fame spread, commissions with authors and publishing houses followed. He died at 53 years of age during an influenza epidemic in New York in 1914. Although Hardy had a flourishing career in Australia and England as an artist and illustrator, he is not listed in either British or Australian registers of book illustrators, or as an artist in the Australian Encyclopedia of Art or in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, and his work is not held by the Australian National Gallery or the Australian War Memorial. The National Library of Australia holds one work by Hardy, an 1893 watercolour entitled ‘Coaching in the Araluen Valley, NSW, 1893,. In the history of the Pacific Islands, Hardy is also invisible, and historians’ attention has not been attracted by him, his paintings or The Savage South Seas.
- E.W. Elkington (1907) The Savage South Seas, Illustrated by Norman Hardy. A & C Black.
Max Quanchi. "Norman H Hardy: Book Illustrator and Artist". Journal of Pacific History 2014, Vol. 49, No. 2, 214-233 (whence biography below)
Jessica Harrison-Hall, "Catalogue of late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum", 2001, p. 590.
Obituary by J. Edge-Partington, MAN, Nos. 4-5 1915, pp.9-10.