Leonard Victor Mitchell

“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

Leonard Victor Mitchell
1925-1980

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.

By 1960, encouraged by a fellowship to the Netherlands, and discouraged by the changing New Zealand art scene, Leonard left for Europe, sadly never to return. Settling in England he enjoyed success on the Continent, particularly at the Paris Salon. His youngest brother Frank Mitchell was at Leonard’s side for most of his life, supporting him in many of his artistic endeavours. When Leonard passed away suddenly in 1980 Frank brought his widow Pat back to New Zealand where she survived partly on the sales of his artworks until her death in 2002. At that time Frank inherited the large number of remaining artworks.

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.

Learn more about Leonard Victor Mitchell by visiting the website dedicated to his work.
Mitchell Studios will always have Leonard’s artworks on display and available for sale, including Limited Edition prints of some of his watercolours.