Mabel Gear, 1898-1987

Mabel was a painter of pastels of birds, dogs and cats, and many were used to illustrate postcards and also Valentine cards. She was born in Ashby, Suffolk. She studied at the Colchester School of Art under Septimus Power (1877-1951) and later at Herkomer's Art School in Bushey, Hertfordshire. In 1917 she passed an examination at Torquay School of Art and Evening Schools. In 1927 she exhibited her work for Raphael Tuck & Sons at Moorfield House, London. In 1928 she married Ivor Isaac Symes who was also an artist. In 1934 the Duke of York (later King George VI) and Duchess of York used a miniature of her 'Sympathy' for their Christmas card.

She exhibited at the Goupil Gallery, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Scottish Academy, Walker's Gallery and the Society of Women Artists.

Sources: Bushey Museum; Artist Biographies Ltd.; Suffolk Artists (

Portfolio (some paintings in the Bushey Museum collection)

'Have a Game' by Mabel Gear
'Have a Game'
'Happy Motherhood Spaniel and Pup' by Mabel Gear
'Happy Motherhood Spaniel and Pup'
'Cairn Terriers' by Mabel Gear
'Cairn Terriers'
'A Collie with a Lamb' by Mabel Gear
'A Collie with a Lamb'
'Two Westies with a Gift Wrapped Parcel' by Mabel Gear
'Two Westies with a Gift Wrapped Parcel'







'A Pony looking at a Robin on Holly' by Mabel Gear
'A Pony looking at a Robin on Holly'
'Four Ponies looking at a Lamb' by Mabel Gear
'Four Ponies looking at a Lamb'
'Hunting, Racing' by Mabel Gear
'Hunting, Racing'
'The Good Companions' by Mabel Gear
'The Good Companions'

Other resources

  • Suffolk Artists at their website.
  • See some of her work on the Art UK website.

If you would like more information, please contact our Local Studies Centre.

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March 2020