Phil MAY 1864–1903
Draughtsman and caricaturist, mainly in black and white. Born 22 April 1864 at Leeds. Left school early and soon began to help the scene-painter at the Grand Theatre, Leeds. Joined a touring company 1879. Came to London 1883, doing some portrait drawings and caricatures for magazines. Went to Australia to work on the Sydney Bulletin 1885–8; returned via Italy and studied in Paris 1890–2. Worked for the St Stephen's Review from 1889, The Graphic from 1890, Punch from 1893, etc. Published Phil May's Annual from 1892 and various other collections such as Guttersnipes 1896. Embarked on a tour round the world for The Graphic but only reached Chicago 1893. Member of the N.E.A.C. 1894–7; R.I. 1896. First one-man exhibition at the Fine Art Society 1895; also exhibited at the Leicester Galleries. Died 5 August 1903 in London. Memorial and subsequent exhibitions at the Leicester Galleries 1903 and 1908 and at Leeds 1913.
Lit: James Thorpe, Phil May, Master-draughtsman and Humorist, 1864–1903, 1932.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II