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Alethea Mary Proctor (2 October 1879 – 29 July 1966) was an Australian artist.

Thea Proctor
George W Lambert - Miss Thea Proctor - Google Art Project.jpg
Portrait of Proctor, painted by George Washington Lambert, 1903, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Alethea Mary Proctor

(1879-10-02)2 October 1879
Died29 July 1966(1966-07-29) (aged 86)
Known forPainting


Proctor was born in Armidale, New South Wales, to Katherine Louise Proctor and William Consett Proctor who was a solicitor and a politician. When her parents separated in 1892, she and her mother moved to Bowral to stay with her grandmother who encouraged her interest in painting.[1]

She studied at the Sydney Art School from 1896 under Julian Ashton, then at the St John's Wood School of Art in London in 1903. Ashton and Proctor became lifelong friends and she modelled for him many times.[2] Apart from two years spent in Sydney 1912–14 she worked in London 1903–21, associating with fellow Australian expatriates Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts and producing pencil drawings and decorative watercolours and fans influenced by Conder and Japanese woodblock prints. She exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, and New English Art Club, later producing lithographs which were exhibited at the Senefelder Club and the London Goupil Gallery for the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.[1]

After returning to Sydney, she exhibited with Margaret Preston in 1925 then with George Lambert founded the Contemporary Group who exhibited in Adrian Feint's Grosvenor Gallery in George Street from 1926–28 with Grace Cossington Smith, Marion Hall Best, Elioth Gruner, Margaret Preston, Roland Wakelin and Roy de Maistre.[3]

She taught Adrian Feint the techniques of woodblock-engraving 1926–28, and like her he produced covers for the Ure Smith magazine The Home. Later she taught linocut printing at Julian Ashton's Sydney Art School and drawing at the Society of Arts and Crafts of New South Wales.[1]

She and Margaret Preston were friends who exhibited together in Sydney and Melbourne until a precipitous bout of professional jealousy in 1925.[4]

Late in life she promoted the neglected work of her cousin John Russell.

Two of several portraits by Lambert hangs in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[1][5][6]


  • Bowral Amateur Art Society competition 1895 (judged by Arthur Streeton)
  • A retrospective exhibition was held at Old Parliament House in 2005[7][8]


  • Encyclopedia of Australian Art Alan McCulloch, Hutchinson, London 1968


  1. ^ a b c d Butler, Roger. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University – via Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  2. ^ Australia, National Gallery of. "George.W.Lambert Retrospective:heroes and icons - George LAMBERT - Miss Thea Proctor".
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2009-11-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ (5 November 2008). "Thea Proctor & Margaret Preston".
  5. ^ Lambert, George W (1903). "Miss Thea Proctor". AGNSW collection record. Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  6. ^ Lambert, George W (1916). "Portrait of a lady (Thea Proctor)". AGNSW collection record. Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  7. ^ "The World of Thea Proctor". National Portrait Gallery exhibition.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2009-11-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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