Sir William Coldstream
Born in Northumberland, northern England, William Coldstream grew up in London and studied at the Slade School of Art, University College London. In 1937 he co-founded the Euston Road School with Graham Bell and others, and with the outbreak of the Second World War enlisted in the Royal Artillery, but was later appointed War Artist, painting in Egypt and Italy.
Upon his return to London in 1945, Coldstream became a visiting teacher at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts before heading the Slade School as Professor of Fine Art in 1949.
Coldstream’s reputation as an influential art and design educator was crystallized in 1958 when he became Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Art Education, a position he held until 1971. During this time he oversaw the council’s first report in 1961 – called the “Coldstream Report” – outlining the requirements for a new Diploma in Art and Design (DipAD).
Having worked alongside John Grierson of the GPO Film Unit in the 1930s, Coldstream became Chairman of the British Film Institute (BFI) from 1964 to1971. Retiring from the Slade School of Art in 1975, he continued to paint in the Realist style for which he was widely regarded.
Among his many achievements, Coldstream became a CBE in 1952, and was later knighted in 1956.