Philippa Miller, known as Pippa, was a prolific artist of Broadlands for many decades. Born in Oulton Broad, she moved to Norwich in 1930 to teach art but her heart was always in the open waterways of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads as her inspirational watercolours showed.
Pippa’s father built yachts and cruisers. Like other East Anglian boat-building families, the Millers took to the water each September, Pippa joining her parents in a converted wherry to paint the unfolding scenes.
In 1923 Pippa said she loved everything about Broadland. She said she would sail all day, moor up at night and paint what she saw. She described Broadland as the “Vast and almost unending flatness of lonely marsh”.
In 1929 in Lowestoft the “Land of the Rising Sun and Gateway of the Broads” magazine prepared for a bumper tourist season by printing 40,000 copies of a town guide, with a Pippa Miller painting on the cover. That scene is now a classic image of the pre-war seaside holiday resort.
In World War two she documented the city’s bomb damage. Norwich was a target in 1942 on towns of particular architectural glory. Pippa showed that the main areas of destruction were the terraces and suburbs. Her sketched images, done within hours of each attack, have been bequeathed to the Norwich Castle Museum.
Pippa Miller left a record of a happy life exploring East Anglia’s lost in its watery wilderness as a wonderful expressive artist. An exhibition of paintings ‘An Artist’s War’ was at the Norwich Cathedral to celebrate Pippa’s 100th birthday.
In 2006, the ‘Estate of Philippa R Miller’ published a booklet called “Broadland Charm”, giving the Museum of the Broads permission for the reproduction of the booklet. It is hand-lettered and has water colour illustrations throughout, the original was done on was parchment paper done in the 1920’s.
‘An Artist’s Broadland’ book was also given to the Museum of the Broads, this fine book helps to establish her belatedly as one of the most talented watercolor artists on the Broads and Broadland in the Twentieth century.