Our Story


This website is a labour of love and a work in progress for the Mitchell family. It seeks to be a catalogue of Leonard Victor Mitchell's artwork (his life's work) which is no small undertaking - to say he was a prolific artist is something of an understatement! Leonard was my uncle, my father's brother, and my parents are the custodians of numerous paintings and drawings, taken into their care after the death of my Aunt, Len's widow Patricia. I can clearly remember them all hung, 4-deep, on the walls of my Aunt's two bedroom flat in Brooklyn, brought back from England with my parents' help when Len suddenly passed away in 1980.

This is by no means be a complete catalogue of Len's work. It is hopefully a representational base which can be added to over time. The vast majority of works included are held by the immediate family, some are owned by our extended family and have been kindly shared, and others are public works - most notably the large murals still on display in the Lower Hutt War Memorial Library. Unless otherwise stated, all images and associated original artworks included on this website are property of the Mitchell family and we would appreciate they not be reproduced without permission.

2018 has already been an exciting year for the Mitchell family. We opened a pop-up exhibition of Leonard's work in March which led to our story being profiled on TVNZ's Sunday programme at the end of April. The tremendously positive response has encouraged me to turn the exhibition into a permanent gallery - Mitchell Studios - at 17 Ganges Road, Khandallah, Wellington. Currently dedicated to showing Leonard's work, the gallery is open Tuesday to Friday 10am-3.30pm and Saturday 10am-2pm, with around 40 artworks on display at any given time.

I have also spent the last year on a very exciting project - a book covering the careers of Leonard and his father (my grandfather, also named Leonard Mitchell) who was a commercial artist and illustrator responsible for a wide range of artworks, over 100 stamp designs and historic paintings. Mitchell & Mitchell: A Father and Son Arts Legacy is being published by Potton and Burton and will be available in October 2018.

Anna Reed (née Mitchell)


Acknowledgements

Much thanks go to Christopher Moore who worked closely with Len's widow Pat in the 1980s and 90s to compile a catalogue of work held by her (Oil, Gouache and Watercolour Painting). I am using this catalogue as a cross reference for my own catalogue now. Christopher held several exhibitions at the Christopher Moore Gallery, see details under Posthumous Exhibitions on the Career page, and facilitated the placement of numerous works.

Our appreciation also goes to the staff of the Lower Hutt War Memorial Library and the Petone Community Library who have been more than happy to provide access to Len's murals and any information pertaining to them.