Remembering John Seerey-Lester

June 14, 2020 share
Artists for Conservation

This May, the art world lost one of its great talents and a dear friend of our organization and a great many of its members.  A giant in the world of wildlife art, a world traveler, historian and writer, John was an inspiration and role model to so many who knew him.


Our heartfelt condolences to John's family and in particular to his wife Suzie – also an AFC member and John's completing half in life, art, exploration and the natural world. In 2014, John and Suzie, jointly received AFC’s highest honor - the Simon Combes Award for Conservation – for their many years of contributions and support for conservation. He was also a member of AFC’s Advisory Board.

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. 

Known for constantly changing his game, 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 thing to paint was Theodore Roosevelt, and was named “The Preeminent modern-day painter of Theodore Roosevelt.

He was Knighted by His Imperial and Royal Highness, Archduke Andreas of Austria for his work in conservation.  In addition to his accolades as an AFC member, the Society of Animal Artist presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.  He was also just received the NRA’s Hunter’s Leadership Forum Award, for his work in conservation. This is just a few of the numerous awards he won.

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 42 years.  He and Suzie taught wilderness wildlife workshops for the past 20 years, helping new artist as well as professional artists become better at their craft.

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.

Wishing John Godspeed in his next great adventure. You will be missed.

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