Silvia Clarke

1911-1994Artist Painting

Other Names: Silvia Mary Lowther Clarke

“When asked how she would sum up the art community in London in the fifties, Silvia replied, ‘one big happy family.’ ”
Silvia Clarke, quoted in The Art of London by Nancy Geddes Poole (1984)

Silvia Clarke was born in Cavendish, Suffolk, England in 1911 and educated at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (now known as Camberwell College of Arts) in London, England.
During World War II, Clarke was employed by the BBC, and was also a champion in the sport of table tennis. In addition, she admitted to doing classified work for the British government (MI5) at the now-famous Bletchley Park, where British codebreakers worked in secret during World War II.

Coming to Canada in 1947, Clarke lived in various places in Ontario (Toronto, Muskoka, and Port Stanley) before making London, Ontario her permanent home in 1954. In London, Clarke would hold a federal government position and would also work for the Faculty of Medicine at Western University. She attended night classes in art at H.B. Beal Secondary School, receiving instruction from London artists such as Jack Chambers, Clare Bice, Irene Taylor, and Herb Ariss.

Clarke was a part of the Western Art League and the Gallery Painting Group. In the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Clarke was among those working towards building a new art gallery in London, a goal which would not be met until 1980 with the opening of the London Regional Art Gallery, today known as Museum London, at the Forks of the Thames River.

Silvia Clarke’s art depicted landscapes, flowers, and local streets and landmarks; it was often exhibited during her decades in London.

Biography by Natalka Duncan and Luvneet K. Rana

 

SOURCES

Getty, Cassandra. “Silvia Clarke: Artist Info.” Museum London Online Catalogue: Works of Silvia Clarke. http://collection.museumlondon.ca/people/242/silvia-clarke/objects#info.

Poole, Nancy Geddes. The Art of London. 1830-1980. London, Ontario: Blackpool Press, 1984.

Reaney, James Stewart. “My London: Real-life Imitation Game hero had link to this London.” The London Free Press, updated January 9, 2015. https://lfpress.com/2015/01/09/my-london-real-life-imitation-game-hero-had-link-to-this-london/wcm/fdb43255-5a18-cb1c-8305-e05190e101d7.

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McIntosh Gallery, Red Doors (Thumbnail)

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in McIntosh Gallery’s collection
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