A painter of portraits, landscapes and decorative designs, Philip Connard was born on 24th March 1875 at Southport. He began working as a house-painter and attended evening classes in art.
Connard won a Scholarship to the R.C.A. and in 1898 was awarded a British Institution Prize which took him to Paris. On his return to London he worked as an illustrator and taught at the Lambeth School of Art. While teaching at Lambeth he submitted pictures to the New English Art Club and became known as a painter in oils of romantic decorative landscapes with figures such as pierettes or birds. His compositions were said to be ‘graceful, airy and highly individual in conception.
Connard was given a number of important decorative commissions: murals at Windsor Castle; two panels for a ballroom in New Delhi; and a large panel on the subject of England for the Cunard liner, RMS Queen Mary. His work can be found in the Tate Gallery, London; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the National Gallery of Australia, the Royal Academy, London, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and the National Museum of Wales.
He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1918 and became a full Academician in 1925. He was Keeper of the Royal Academy school, the principal tutor, from 1945 to 1949. He was also a full member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours. In 1950 Connard was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Connard, meanwhile, did not forget his home town: he was the founding President of The Southport Palette Club, established in 1921 to hold annual exhibitions of the work of local artists, and he retained this position until his death in 1958.
Connard married twice: his first wife, Mary Collyer, with whom he had two daughters, died in 1927; in 1933 he married Georgina Yorke, whom he depicted in many of his later paintings of interiors. He lived for several years in Richmond, Surrey with Scottish artist Anne Finlay.