Two of the favourite exercises given to 1940s art students were the design of patterned papers and the illustration of book jackets. Two of my favourite things! But of course art students vary considerably in talent and skill so I was delighted the other day to buy a folder which consists entirely of just those two exercises. Theses are some of the patterned papers (I have a hunch you might be seeing the book jackets too sometime soon), all original designs in gouache. There was also a series which were clearly designs for wallpaper. Gwendolen K Young signed her name on the back of each of these compositions, quite rightly proud of them I think. I can't find any intelligence of her working in book illustration or design but who knows, perhaps she went on to a long and happy career as a commercial artist. More likely, like so many other women of her age, art school was the last point in her life where she was independent of another career as wife and mother: I hope she managed to express her considerable talent somehow though.