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LEONARD VICTOR MITCHELL 1925-1980

“Our gallery began life in March 2018 as a pop-up exhibition of the work of my Uncle, late New Zealand artist Leonard Victor Mitchell. Utilising a beautiful recently-completed retail space in Khandallah Village, the Mitchell family and our friends put together an exhibition from the family’s collection of Leonard’s work. The community response was overwhelmingly positive and in June 2018 Mitchell Studios was born. Since then, the gallery has grown to include the work of a number of fantastic New Zealand artists and artisans, whilst remaining faithful to our first artist, Uncle Len.”
Anna Reed, Director, Mitchell Studios

You can view a selection of Len’s work online here and at Mitchell Studios in Khandallah, Wellington. Learn more about his life and work (and the work of his talented father Leonard Cornwall Mitchell) in our book, Mitchell & Mitchell: A Father & Son Arts Legacy available at the gallery and through our online shop.

Born in 1925, Leonard’s story began growing up in Ngaio, Wellington. A dedicated artist, by the 1950s he was exhibiting at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and established as a well sought-after portrait painter. In 1954 he co-established the Lambton Galleries, Wellington’s largest commercial gallery. He completed several commissions for public spaces, including murals at the newly built Lower Hutt War Memorial Library, and won the inaugural Kelliher prize for Landscape painting. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London… Read more

Summer in the Mokauiti Valley, oil on canvas, Leonard Victor Mitchell, 1956, Kelliher Art Trust. Winner of the inaugural Kelliher Prize for Landscape painting.
Self Portrait in Red Dressing Gown, Leonard Victor Mitchell, oil on canvas, 1959 was the hero piece for Leonard Victor Mitchell: A Fine Art Exhibition in 2018.

LOWER HUTT WAR MEMORIAL LIBRARY MURALS

In 1955 Len was commissioned to paint three large murals for the soon to be opened War Memorial Library in Lower Hutt – two for the Memorial Hall, the main entrance to the building, and a third to be hung above the main issue desk. They were the largest murals ever to be commissioned in New Zealand up to that time and Len was faced with the daunting task of designing and completing the murals within three and a half months… Read more

Human Endeavour, Leonard Victor Mitchell, oil on canvas 1956. 250cm x 850cm, composed of five canvases each approximately 167cm x 250cm. On display, Lower Hutt War Memorial Library.
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