Emmy Lou Packard

Theme/Style – Social Realism, Modernism

Media – Oils, murals, graphic arts, photography, prints, drawings

Artistic Focus – Emmy Lou Packard was known as much for her pursuit of environmental and feminist causes, civil rights, animal rights and political populism as she was for her art. As one exhibitor commented, “Her life and work define her not only as a Californian, but as an American and a citizen of the world.”

Career Highlights –

• Thanks to her father’s work as a California farming official, Packard went with her family to Mexico as a teen. There, her mother arranged for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to view the young girl’s sketches, and it was their encouragement that propelled Packard toward a career in art.
• Packard studied first at the University of California, Berkeley, and following her first husband’s death, she undertook graduate studies of sculpture and fresco, determined to build a career to support their infant son.
• She became an assistant on Rivera’s Golden Gate Exposition mural project,
• Spent a year in Mexico working with Rivera and Kahlo, and came back to San Francisco with some 40 watercolors that served to announce her professional arrival.