Thea Proctor is best remembered as a taste-maker and the promoter of modernism through her teaching, exhibiting and involvement with art and design in Sydney from the early 1920s on.
Proctor lived in London from 1903 to 1921 and while there was encouraged to make fan paintings by Charles Conder. She showed fans at the 1907 Women's Work Exhibition, London and another in 1912 at the Venice International Exhibition. This subject of this design is typical of Proctor's work; a romantic, idyllic depiction of an ideal, leisured world. It also reveals the influence of George Lambert, a close friend and mentor, of Japonisme, and her interest in historical costume.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004
pencil, watercolour, chinese white, fan-shaped
20.5 x 32.2 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.r., "THEA PROCTOR". Not dated.
Bequest of Florence Turner Blake 1959
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
150 years of Australian art (1938), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jan 1938–25 Apr 1938
Tribute to Thea Proctor (1963), Wales House Gallery, 17 Jul 1963–09 Aug 1963
Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s:
Painted Women - Australian artists in Europe at the turn of the century, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia, Perth, 24 Jul 1998–13 Sep 1998
The Edwardians: Secrets and Desire:
Referenced in 4 publications
Anne Gray, The Edwardians: secrets and desires, Canberra, 2004, 210 (colour illus.). cat.no. 103
Anne Gray, Painted women - Australian artists in Europe at the turn of the century, 'An overwhelming love of beauty - Thea Proctor's women', pg. 30-33, Western Australia, 1998, 45-46. cat.no. 53
Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, Sydney, 1995, 29 (colour illus.), 115. cat.no. 15
Hal Missingham (Director), Purchases and acquisitions for 1959, Sydney, 1959, 18.