William Menzies Coldstream 1908 – 1987

Sir William Menzies Coldstream 1908 – 1987 was a British realist painter, co-founder of the Euston Road School, Professor of Fine Art at the Slade School, Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Art Education, Chairman of the British Film Institute,

William Coldstream died in the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in 1987,

Born in Northumberland, William Coldstream grew up in London and studied at the Slade School of Art, University College London where he met and married Nancy Sharp.

He co-founded the Euston Road School with Graham Bell and others in 1937. He enlisted in the Royal Artillery at the start of the war but he was appointed a War Artist in 1943, working in Egypt and Italy.

In November 1945, he became a visiting teacher at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, and in 1949 he returned to lead the Slade School as Professor of Fine Art.

Under his direction the Slade achieved an international reputation for excellence. In 1952 he became a CBE.

Between 1958 and 1971 he was Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Art Education, which published its first report in 1961—called the “Coldstream Report”—outlining the requirements for a new Diploma in Art and Design (Dip.A.D.).

He was also Chairman of the British Film Institute from 1964 to 1971 (he had worked with John Grierson in the GPO Film Unit for a few years in the 1930s).

He retired from the Slade School in 1975, and continued to paint until 1984, when his health was in marked decline.

He died in the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in London on February 18, 1987.

The Tate Gallery has several of his paintings.

Of interest:

A Dr. Coldstream was a homeopathc physician in 1891,

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