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Nick Schlee (British b.1931)

Nick Schlee was born in 1931 in Weybridge, Surrey.

He left school at 17 and joined a London advertising agency working in the layout department. After National service, he returned to the day job in London. But he was encouraged by his eldest brother to pursue a recently discovered interest, reading. As a result he went on to read English at Oxford University where, in 1952, he was to meet his future wife in a lecture.

From the age of nine, and at school, Schlee had been good at art and it was this talent that was recognised by the Dean of the college and his prospective tutor who felt it was good to have an artist in the college to help create a balanced community.

After university, in 1955. Schlee went to work in New York finding himself a trainee position in the mail room of a large advertising agency. While there he studied part-time at the Art Students League.

Painting continued to be a passion of Schlee’s throughout his career in business and he found time at weekends to turn to canvas and take evening classes at the Central School, Morely College with Lawrence Toynbee, Putney Art School and The Slade. However, it wasn’t until the age of fifty-eight in 1989 that Schlee turned to full time painting.  By then he had exhibited at the Royal Academy and at many ILEA exhibitions and ‘The Spirit of London’.

During the 90s through to today Schlee has had regular one man exhibitions in London and around the country including Edinburgh and Oxford. His works are now held in public collections across England including Liverpool University, The City of London Guildhall Gallery,  Southampton City Art Gallery,  Reading Museum & Art Gallery, Swindon Art Gallery, Hampshire County Council and Gallery Oldham.

Schlee continues to paint today living and working in Upper Basildon, Berkshire where he is inspired by the dramatic local landscape that surrounds him. He works quickly with coloured oil  pastels and charcoal to capture all the elements in the landscape that excite him. Many of these drawings are worked up into large paintings in oils back in the studio.


1931 – Born in Weybridge, Surrey
1947 – Won both Gold and Silver medals for under 18’s given by the Royal Drawing Society
1955 – Studied part-time at the Art Students, League, New York
1956 – Studied part-time at the Central School, Morely College, Putney Art School and The Slade.
1989 – Exhibited at various ILEA exhibitions, The Spirit of London and the Royal Academy
Lives and works in Upper Basildon, Berkshire.

Exhibition History

One Man Exhibitions

1987 – Yehudi Menuhin School, Sussex
1988 – The Grange, Rottingdean
1990 – Wantage Museum, Oxford
1991 – Century Galleries, Henley
1992 – Flying Colours Gallery, Edinburgh
1993 – Castlegate House Gallery, Cumbria
1994 – Barbican Centre, London
1995 – Wantage Museum, Oxford
1996 – Simon Carter Gallery, Suffolk
1996 – University of Liverpool
1996 – Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford
1998 – Gallery 27, London
2000 – Gallery 27, London
2001 – Corn Exchange, Newbury
2002 – Gallery 27, London
2002 – River & Rowing Museum, Henley
2003 – Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford
2004 – Modern Artists Gallery, Oxfordshire
2004 – Gallery 27, London
2006 – Oxford Said Business School
2006 – Corn Exchange, Newbury
2006 – Gallery 27, London
2006 – West Berkshire Museum
2006 – Gallery 27, London
2008 – Gallery 27, London

Group Exhibitions

1988 – Sue Rankin Gallery, London
1990 – Roy Miles Gallery, London
1991 – University College, Oxford
1992 – Art ,92, London
1992 – 20th Century British Art, London
1993 – Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
1993 – City Gallery, Leicester
1994 – Templeton College, Oxford
1995 – Arts Centre, Nottingham University
1995 – Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham
1997 – Beatrice Royal Gallery, Oxford
1998 – CCA Gallery, Oxford
1999 – Modern Artists Gallery, Berkshire
2000 – Modern Artists Gallery, Berkshire
2003 – Modern Artists Gallery, Berkshire

Public Collections

City of London Guildhall Gallery
Gallery Oldham
John Creasey Museum, Salisbury
Liverpool University
Oxfordshire Museums
Portsmouth University
Reading Museum & Art Gallery
River & Rowing Museum
Southampton City Art Gallery
Swindon Art Gallery
The Wessex Collection, Longleat
West Berkshire Museum
Wiltshire Heritage Museum