1845 - ?

Thomas Heatherley

The Heatherley School of Fine Art was founded in 1845 and is one of the oldest independent art schools in Britain. In 1845, a group of students at the Government School of Design in Somerset House, unable any longer to tolerate the academic restrictions imposed on them, began to work as a separate class in Dickenson’s Drawing Gallery, 18 Maddox Street, London. In 1848 Dickenson’s became Leigh’s School and moved to 79 Newman Street with James Matthews Leigh as Principal. Thomas Heatherley (c1825-1914), a painter of genre and figurative subjects, entered the school as a student in 1850 and later became Leigh’s assistant, taking over when Leigh died in 1860 when the school became known as Heatherley’s and he ran it until he retired to Keswick in 1887. On Heatherley's retirement as principal his nephew John Crompton (1854–1927) and his wife Mary Ellen became the new Principals. The couple ran the school from 1887 until they handed it over to the Masseys in 1907. The Heatherley School of Fine Art was the first school to admit women to the life room on equal terms with men and is among the few art colleges in Britain that focus on portraiture, figurative painting, printmaking, and sculpture. In 1940 Heatherley absorbed the Grosvenor School of Modern Art. Heatherleys is controlled by The Thomas Heatherley Educational Trust.

Thomas Heatherley was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire around 1825, son of Thomas Heatherley, a miller, and his wife Martha. Young Thomas married at Marylebone, London in 1860, Katherine Elizabeth Emily née Weale (c1826-31 March 1914) and had a son Francis and a daughter Lois. Thomas Heatherley died at Rossall Beach, near Fleetwood, Lancashire in February 1914, his age was given as 88,

Works by This Artist