Remembering a well-known painter of wildlife art and historic hunting scenes.
The world of wildlife art lost one of its giants with the recent passing of John Seerey-Lester of Osprey, Florida. Born and raised in England, John relocated to America in 1980. He loved his adopted country and became a citizen in 2012. He is survived by his wife, Suzie, and his son, John Jr.
With work hanging in the White House, as well as museum collections, private homes, and assemblages all around the world, John Seerey-Lester is world-renowned as one of the top wildlife artists on the planet. He was known for his mystical and mysterious animals, and was frequently called “The Godfather of Wildlife Art.”
John was constantly changing his game, and several years ago he started the “Legends of the Hunt” book series. He wrote all the true stories and he created over 100 images for each of the three books (Legends of the Hunt, Campfire Tales, and The Legendary Hunts of Theodore Roosevelt). His fourth book, Legendary Hunters and Explorers, will be published later this year. John’s favorite subject to paint was Theodore Roosevelt, and he was the preeminent modern-day painter of the former president.
He was knighted by His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Andreas of Austria for his work in conservation. He and his wife, Suzie, received the Simon Combes Award for Conservation in 2014 from Artists for Conservation. The Society of Animal Artists presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. He also received the NRA’s Hunter’s Leadership Forum Award for his work in conservation.
John was generous with his time and talents. He has been Master or Featured Artist for nearly every major wildlife show both in the US and the UK over the past forty-two years. He and Suzie taught wilderness wildlife workshops for the past twenty years, helping new artist as well as professional artists become better at their craft.
John was known for his gifts to conservation and the organizations that were important to him. He was honored to be part of the Boone and Crockett Club, Campfire Club of America, NRA-ILA and NRA-HLF, Artists for Conservation, St. Hubertus, and the Society of Animal Artists, just to name a few organizations.
John was truly a force to be reckoned with. His sketchbooks and sketchpads are filled with ideas that were yet to be painted. His passion was painting, every waking second of the day. His legacy will continue.