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Royal Commonwealth Society : The Power Screen

Child, Heather (1911-1997)

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Arnold Danvers Power (1875-1959), bookseller and philanthropist, made three trips around the world. During 1937-39, he commissioned the artist Heather Child (1911-1997) to record his voyages on a decorative screen, illustrated with incidents described in his diaries. It is made of three hinged panels of sycamore wood, each measuring 2 feet by 3 feet. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The upper half contains the principal map, in which Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand have a familiar look. South America extends along the bottom of the left hand panel, Russia and Japan form a strip across the top, while the South Pole forms a prominent feature of the right panel. Power's three voyages are marked in the colours grey (1904), red (1910-1911) and yellow (1935-1936). In the lower half are three small maps. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The screen is illuminated with more than 200 depictions of airplanes and ships, people, fish, animals and vegetable life, and the coats of arms of the British Dominions. Of particular interest are the penguins, Australian mammals, Pacific canoes, elephant procession in India, caravan crossing the Sahara, and the native peoples of British Columbia, Canada. The small maps are much less decorative. </p>

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