PACKARD, Ellen Sylvia

1881 - 1962

Sylvia was born at Grove House, Bramford, Ipswich on 26 January 1881, twin daughter of Sir Edward Packard [q.v.] and his wife Ellen née Turner. She trained at the Slade in London and in 1916, Sylvia took over the Art Department at the Royal School for Officers' Daughters in Bath, Somerset. In 1901 she was 'a visitor' at Burford, 53 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich the home of Thomas and Emily Temple, the parents of Kathleen Emily Temple later Temple-Bird [q.v.] and ten years later was at the family home at The Grove, Bramford. A landscape painter and a member at the Ipswich Art Club 1903-1939, exhibiting in 1900 'A Summer Evening' which was quickly purchased, in 1916 an etching 'Bramford and from 15 Richmond Place, Bath in 1927 an etching 'Bath' but in 1932 she was again exhibiting from Bramford, four paintings 'Somerset Trees', 'On Board the Ranchi', 'Stockholm' and another and the following year from 15 Richmond Place, Bath an oil 'The Dead Thrush', two watercolours 'Chiliean Wild Flowers' and 'Loch Garten' and in 1935 from 27 Richmond Place, Bath a watercolour 'Corneilla, Pyrenees'. She also exhibited at the International Society, New English Art Club and the Society of Women Painters between 1909 and 1928, from London in 1909, Godalming, Surrey 1910, Bath 1916 and from Bramford in 1920. On her retirement from the school, Sylvia with Rosalind Ord, founded a firm of tile manufacturers, Packard & Ord which later became Marlborough Tiles. Sylvia Packard and Rosalind Ord, found that their mutual interest in painting ceramic tiles and was commercial enough to provide them with a living and on 13 April 1936 the Packard and Ord partnership was officially registered and the business relocated from Bath to Barnfield, Marlborough. They initially specialised in commissions and giftware, with much work coming via word of mouth, and customers ranging from Royalty to Public Houses. Queen Mary was a regular customer and they even supplied tiles to Fortnum and Mason. Their hand painted work was hallmarked 'PO' (Packard & Ord) on the front of the tile and examples can still be found today in the V&A museum, private collections and on walls across the world. They continued to work on commissions until the 1939-1945 war forced them to stop in 1940 and by 1945 when the war finished, Miss Packard was too old to be interested in starting up the business again and sold her share of the partnership to Hugh Robb. In 1939 a tile artist living at Parsonage Farm, Hungerford, Berkshire and Sylvia died at Harrow, Middlesex in 1962, aged 81, she was unmarried. (Susan Rasey, ‘Sylvia Packard and the tile mural at the Royal School, Bath’, 'Glazed Expressions', (1997) 35, pp2-3)

Works by This Artist