Prized sketch goes back to school
Gordon Jeanes, Principal Lois Joll and Peter Jeanes with the sketch of aviator Charles Kingsford Smith. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Among the entries in Perth Modern School student Joan Selden's autograph book in 1936 one eye-catching sketch had pride of place.

It was a sketch by fellow student Howard Taylor of pioneer aviator Charles Kingsford Smith.

Taylor went on to become one of Australia's most celebrated artists and sculptors, with works in many Australian galleries and public spaces.

Joan Selden married another Perth Modern prefect, Neville Jeanes, and the couple's sons, Peter and Gordon, have donated the sketch to the school where it was created.

Peter said that some years ago his mother had Taylor's sketch of Kingsford Smith professionally removed from her autograph book and framed, and had displayed it with pride in her Nedlands home.

He believed Taylor had chosen to sketch Kingsford Smith because of an interest in model aeroplanes and aeronautical design.

Taylor joined the RAAF and transferred to the RAF. He was shot down and captured in 1940, honing his drawing skills while he was a prisoner of war.

Peter said his mother, who died in 2011, had been immensely proud of her time at the school and had attended reunions well into her 80s.

Perth Modern principal Lois Joll said the school was delighted to be the recipient of such a generous donation.

The West Australian

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