Tod.Moore wrote: Does anybody think that the 1946 film may have helped to inspire the 1961 stamp design, shown above in this Stampboards thread? Or for that matter, the decision to issue the 1950 and 1952 stamps?
It is a good question: why did the photo of Jimmy appear on the 1950 stamp, and when it did, one which Paige does not answer.
Paige assumes at page 101:
Paige Gleeson wrote:It seems certain that Tjungurrayi’s image was selected for both the 1938 and 1950 stamps in order to capitalise on the popularity already generated from Walkabout.
But why would one image from a set of photographs taken in 1935 and some reproduced in Walkabout in January 1936 be resurrected in 1950, 14-15 years later? When one looks at stamp designs from the 1950s, the PMG didn’t go around selecting already popular images to reproduce on stamps. It was the release of the 1950 stamp that propelled Jimmy's popularity such that it was then reproduced on the Walkabout cover on 1 September 1950, two weeks after release of the stamp on 14 August 1950.
Paige seems to have things back-to-front. The stamp appeared first, then the Walkabout cover. Not cover first, then the stamp. She seems completely unaware of the the actual issue date.
Jillian Barnes is more specific and points to the hand of Holmes at page 108:
Jillian Barnes wrote:Whilst Tjungurrayi lived his complex life, Holmes [Charles H. Holmes, the tourism executive, head of the Australian National Travel Association for 30 years] continued his unrestricted and uninformed use of his photographs. This situation changed abruptly in the early 1950s however, after Holmes was instrumental in having one of his portraits mass-produced on a stamp and Tjungurrayi was inadvertently catapulted into an international symbol of Australian Aboriginality.
Again, Paige has made no effort to explore Australia Post archives to answer this question. The KGVI booklet put out by AP in the 1970s features many postage stamp essays (proposed designs), but checking this there are none of the Jimmy stamp. Given the popularity of the Jimmy stamp, this absence is unusual:
If this is correct, it is an unusual situation that there was no choice of designs. Did the PMG have only one design? The question is: why? Did Holmes lobby for the inclusion of his photograph on a stamp? Surely the AP archives has correspondence or notes relevant to how Jimmy came to be selected and issued as a stamp design.
The PMG at the time was Hubert Lawrence ("Larry") Anthony (Country Party) who assumed office after the defeat of Labour on 19 December 1949. Anthony held the PMG office until 1956. Australia had no tourism minister as such, but Neil O’Sullivan (Liberal) was incoming Trade and Customs minister in 1949.
The earliest announcements of the forthcoming stamp where it as described in some detail and the issue date announced as “August 1950” was in The Advertiser 6 May 1950 p1; Argus 6 May 1950 p7. The stamp was first illustrated in News, 29 June 1950 p6; The Sun 29 June 1950 p11. The 8 1/2d was issued on 14-Aug-1950.
All of this points to the need to go to the AP archives to find out the genesis of the stamp, rather than make rather obvious statements and assumptions that it came about because of the "popularity" of the image.
Paige did dot pick up on some of the terminology used in the press releases: e.g. "a fine study of a head of male Central Australian Aborigine". Some might say this is medicalised terminology, others artistic.
Related question: has anyone seen Die Proofs of the 8 1/2d or 2/6d? Absence of them might suggest the design did not go through the stamp design committee.
You cannot make this stuff up.