Australian artist and print-maker, Helen à Beckett Boyd was born on 7 April, 1903, at Sandringham, Victoria; the youngest, and the only daughter, of Arthur Merric Boyd and Emma Minnie (nee à Beckett) Boyd. The family consisted of five children, and she was one of the four of whom became prominent in the Australian artistic world. Helen was the sister of:
- John Gilbert à Beckett Boyd (1886–1896) who was killed in a riding accident.
- William Merric Boyd (1888–1959), a potter, who married Doris Gough (1889–1960), a fellow painter.
- Theodore Penleigh Boyd (1890–1923), painter, who married Edith Susan Gerard Anderson, and
- Martin à Beckett Boyd (1893–1972), writer.
As Helen à Beckett Read, she has exhibited widely throughout Victoria. Helen is considered to be a traditional painter, who did not start her career until later in life. Her art style in Nocturne (pictured above) can be described as Contemporary Impressionism, as the use of a tonal colour palette; and the style of brushstrokes, are Impressionistic; while the style of the landscape depiction is contemporary. Nocturne is part of the collection of the Wangaratta Art Gallery, in Victoria.
- Helen à Beckett Boyd married Neven Robinson Read, on 16 January, 1935, at South Yarra, Victoria.
- The Reads had four children: Gayner Lucinda (a painter) (1936-1988), Susan (now Susan Easton 1938- ) Andrew (1942- ) and Prudence Read (1947- ).
Neven Read was born on 10 December, 1903, at Bedooba Station, Cobar, in New South Wales (NSW); and was educated at Grange School, Melbourne; Royal Australian Naval College, Jervis Bay, NSW; and at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, England. His naval career included Cadet Midshipman, Midshipman, Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, through to Acting Commodore. He commanded the following ships: HMAS Tattoo (1935); HMAS Vampire (1936); HMAS Doomba (1940); HMAS Bingera (1941); HMAS Kybra (1942); HMAS Warrnambool (1943); HMAS Stuart (1944); HMAS Gascoyne (1944); HMAS Whyalla (1944); HMAS Ballarat (1945) and was a Senior Officer, 21st Minesweeping Flotilla in 1945.
- Neven Robinson Read died on 8 January, 1977 at Henty, NSW; and Helen à Beckett Read passed away on 1 June, 1999, in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia.
“Is It Art?”