Sydenham School tries to identify sculpted panel artist

Decorated panels in Sydenham School The panels show scenes from English countryside

A south-east London school is appealing for help to identify the artist behind decorated wall panels in its building.

Sydenham School believes the sculpted panels date back to World War I when the school was established in the building in 1917.

The school is currently undergoing a £23m refit over three years and head teacher Carolyn Unsted said she wanted to acknowledge the "treasures" in it.

The artworks are on three walls of a building which will house the library.

One of the panels is more than 50ft (15m) long and features scenes including horses being domesticated, scenes from the English countryside, and coaches and steam trains.

Ms Unsted said: "At this time of significant redesign, it is appropriate we acknowledge these treasures dating from another pivotal moment in the school's history - another time of renewal and optimism."

Ken Devine, a member of the Friends of Sydenham School, said: "The raised panels date from early in the life of the red brick buildings that made up Sydenham County Grammar School put up by the London County Council in 1917.

"All searches through the records have failed to unearth information about the artworks now in our Lower School hall."

Dr Jeremy Howard, senior lecturer in the Art History Department at the University of St Andrews, who was part of a study into artworks in schools, saw images of Sydenham School's panels and said they were "extremely accomplished plaster reliefs".

"Altogether they express a vivacity and dynamism that is in keeping with the spirit of the art nouveau movement," he added.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

Min. Night 13 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on BBC News

  • bikeWheels of change

    Ten new bikes that are reinventing the humble two-wheeler for the 21st Century

Programmes

  • A bird of prey in a Tokyo animal cafeThe Travel Show Watch

    From cats to rabbits and birds of prey – Tokyo’s flourishing animal cafe scene

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.