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Australian art

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Untitled (study for The Home: Xmas Number, 1st December 1926)



Thea Proctor


02 Oct 1879 - 29 Jul 1966


Thea Proctor (1879-1966) began her art studies at Julian Ashton’s Sydney Art School in 1896. Her early work revealed a strong interest in design, which was to become the defining characteristic of her oeuvre.

After living in London for nearly 20 years, Proctor return to Sydney in 1921 where she quickly became a commanding figure in the Sydney art world and an advocate for modern art and design. Her creative output spanned fine art, design, illustration and interior design.

Drawing was a regular and consistent activity for Proctor. From mid-career until the end of her life she made many portrait and figure drawings of friends and acquaintances, as well as commissions in order to make a living. She often featured her subjects in fancy or contemporary dress, revealing an idiosyncratic, eclectic and flexible attitude towards fashion, an attitude that is illustrated in this striking portrait of a woman wearing a headscarf.

This drawing was transformed into a coloured cover design for the The Home magazine for the 1926 December issue. The Home, founded by Sydney Ure Smith in 1920, was a major advocate for modern art and design principals to Australian audiences in the 1920s and 30s and Proctor as an artist, designer and tastemaker was a key contributer. The subject may be Proctor’s cousin Hera Roberts, who had previously modelled for Proctor for a 1927 Home cover in an image featuring two young women smelling a rose.




Media category


Materials used

pencil on buff wove paper


32.4 x 31.8 cm sheet/sight

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Thea Proctor 1926".


Thea Proctor Memorial Fund 2018


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Thea Proctor

Artist profile

Works in the collection