Sir John Seerey-Lester artist -
Sir John Seerey-Lester. Images courtesy Suzie Seerey-Lester /

Sir John Seerey-Lester was known as “the Godfather of Contemporary Wildlife Art.” It is with sadness that we announce his passing.

His wife, Suzie, shared the following in a recent announcement:

It is with a broken heart, I wanted to let you know, John passed away May 19, after a short battle with cancer. His new book will be published later this year (stay tuned here), and his legacy will continue.

Painting by Sir John Seerey-Lester
Painting by Sir John Seerey-Lester

Tribute to Sir John Seerey-Lester

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.”

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. He and his wife Suzie received the Sime Combes Award for Conservation in 2014 from Artists for Conservation, 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 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 HLF, Artists for Conservation, St. Hubertus, Society of Animal Artists, just to name a few conservation 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.

We will announce his celebration of life, after the virus has passed.

He touched so many people and the art world has lost an incredible man. I will always love him.


Painting by Sir John Seerey-Lester
Painting by Sir John Seerey-Lester

Watch > John Seerey-Lester Receives the SAA Lifetime Achievement Award:

Related Article > Two Artists Living and Working in Harmony
John and Suzie Seery-Lester share the inspirational story of how their lives came together through art. Bonus: Learn about their colors choice and techniques for painting representational art.

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