Roy Alexander Edward Antonio Wysard (1907-1984), known as Anthony, Antony and Tony Wysard
The cartoonist and illustrator,Tony Wysard, is best remembered for the society caricatures that he contributed to many leading periodicals before and after the Second World War. The most impressive of these – as with the present example – are in full colour and contain large groups of personalities. Tony Wysard was born in Pangbourne, Berkshire, on 18 September 1907, one of two children of Walter Wysard, a merchant and director of a number of companies, and his wife, Delia, who as Delia Mason had been an actress and singer. Educated at Harrow, he began to learn accountancy in the City, before deciding that he would rather work as an artist. While employed as the secretary to Phormium Cavity Blocks Limited, in the late 1920s, he began to contribute caricatures to many leading magazines and newspapers, including The Bystander, the Daily and Sunday Express, Harper’s Bazaar, The Sphere and The Tatler. Many of the best of these appeared in ‘Caricatures and Cartoons of People of Importance’, a solo show at Walker’s Galleries, Bond Street, in November 1936.
By then, he was also working as advertising manager for Alexander Korda’s London Films Productions at its new studios at Denham, Buckinghamshire. In 1939, he married Ruth McDougall, of the famous flour milling family.
Having been commissioned in the Queen’s Westminsters, an infantry regiment of the Territorial Army in 1938, Wysard served with the Royal Green Jackets during the Second World War, and then returned to Denham. He also became associate editor for Harper’s Bazaar, and continued to produce caricatures for various periodicals, including the series, ‘The Uncommon Man’, for The Strand Magazine (1948-50). During the 1950s, he began to illustrate a number of books, beginning with Ted Kavanagh’s Colonel Chinstrap (1952), Gilbert Harding’s Treasury of Insult (1953) and two books by Spike Hughes: The Art of Coarse Cricket (1954) and The Art of Coarse Travel (1957).
Wysard was a habitué of Wheeler & Co, in Old Compton Street, Soho, and an active member of its lively Thursday Club. He proposed that this restaurant should have its own quarterly magazine, and this was launched in 1954 with himself as editor. By the end of the decade, it was available in all branches of Wheeler’s. Through his association with Wheeler’s, he also produced and edited a promotional booklet for the 40th anniversary of Woodhouse Hume, a London wholesale butcher (1958). Later, in 1974, he would illustrate Wheeler’s Fish Cookery Book, written by Macdonald Hastings and Carole Walsh.
By 1965, Wysard had set up his own advertising consultancy, Excelads Imprint Ltd, which specialised in design and print production for a diverse clientele.
Wysard lived at Stanford Wood, Tutts Clump, near Bradfield, west Berkshire, where his friend, Sir Osbert Lancaster, made a number of drawings on the walls of the flower room. He died in November 1984.
His work is represented in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery.