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Australian art

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Thea Proctor


02 Oct 1879 - 29 Jul 1966


Encouraged by the example of Margaret Preston (who gave her the wood to work with) Thea Proctor made her first woodcuts in 1925, later stating that they were made mainly for children’s nurseries. This medium suited her interest in
colour and design.

After her return from London in 1921, Proctor epitomised ‘the modern’ in 1920s Sydney. Her work effortlessly spanned the worlds of art exhibitions, design and décor, and she was involved in the establishment of the Contemporary Group in Sydney, which encouraged young avant-garde artists.




Media category


Materials used

woodcut, printed in black ink, hand-coloured on thin ivory mulberry paper


number 11 from an unknown edition


17.5 x 22.8 cm blockmark; 20.4 x 26.5 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed with initials in block to print l.l., white reversed out of black ink "TP". Signed l.r., pencil "Thea Proctor". Not dated.


Purchased 1965


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Thea Proctor

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 14 publications


Janine Burke, Australian women artists 1840-1940, Collingwood, 1980, 133 (illus.), 177. plate no. 58; Collection of National Gallery of Victoria

Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 3 (colour illus.).

Nicholas Draffin, Australian woodcuts and linocuts of the 1920s and 1930s, South Melbourne, 1976, 12, 40 (colour illus.). dated circa 1930

Sarah Engledow', The world of Thea Proctor, 'The world of Thea Proctor', pg. 16-84, Canberra, 2005, 45, 49-50, 125 (colour illus.). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression

Janda Gooding, Thea Proctor, Perth, 1982, 13. NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression

Kirsty Grant and Jason Smith, In relief: Australian wood engravings, woodcuts and linocuts, Melbourne, 1997, 32 (colour illus.). Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 60 (colour illus.). 48

Josef Lebovic, Australian women printmakers, 'Foreword', pg. 2, Sydney, 1988, 12. 97a; dated 1930; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression.

Josef Lebovic, Masterpieces of Australian printmaking, Sydney, 1987, 102, 103. NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression

Jan Minchin, The prints: Thea Proctor, 'Thea Proctor: a biography', pg. 6-13, Sydney, 1980, 72, 73 (colour illus.). 25; NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression

Pamela Gerrish Nunn, Women artists and the decorative arts 1880-1935: the gender of ornament, 'Owning femininity: Thea Proctor and the Australian Avant-garde', pg. 73-95, Aldershot, 2002, 78, 79.

Louise Tegart (Editor), Slow burn: A century of Australian women artists from a private collection, Sydney, 2010, 20, 22 (colour illus.). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression

Maria (Connie) Tornatore-Loong, Japan in Sydney: Professor Sadler & modernism, 1920-30s, 'The remarkable Professor Sadler: Japan, Sydney and Australian modernism', pg. 7-49, Sydney, 2011, 28, 34 (colour illus.), 137. 37

Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. 119