Australian Geographic

The art of AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC

Green tree frog

AG 15

July–September 1989

FOR THE FRONT cover of each of the first 83, from January 1986 to July 2006, we commissioned an original native wildlife illustration. These artworks were always in a photorealistic style and AG engaged the talents of a small group of Australian artists who specialised in that form of creative expression. The covers were a defining feature of AG for more than two decades. Foremost among those artists was South Australian Kevin Stead. His green tree frog on the cover of the July-September 1989 issue supported a story by herpetologist Mike Tyler – Australia’s ‘Frog Man’. Of all the painted covers, this frog caused the biggest stir among our readers, many of whom found it hard to believe it wasn’t a real photo. The image went on to become one of our most popular and was often reproduced, appearing on products such as jigsaws and posters. One dedicated reader created an intricate paper tole version that hung in the foyer of our Terrey Hills headquarters for years. It even appeared on an unauthorised range of resin toilet seats!

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