Robert McLellan Bateman

Bio Horizontal

Robert McLellan Bateman

Award Received

Honorary Degree

Convocation Ceremony

Spring 2010 Convocation

Robert Bateman has been a keen artist and naturalist from his early days. He painted wildlife and wilderness in a representational style until his teens when he began using a variety of contemporary styles, including post-impressionism and abstract expressionism. In the early 1960's, Mr. Bateman rediscovered realism and began to develop the style that would make him one of the foremost artists depicting the world of nature. In the 1970's and 1980's, his work began to receive critical acclaim and to attract an enormous following.

Beginning with his first one-man show in 1967, Mr. Bateman has had numerous sell-out exhibitions in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. His work is in many public and private collections, including several museums. He was commissioned by the Governor General of Canada to do a painting as a wedding gift - from the people of Canada - to Prince Charles. Mr. Bateman has also had many one-man museum shows throughout North America, including an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. that drew record-breaking crowds. Books of his art have made publishing history selling more than a million copies and his honours, awards and honorary doctorates are numerous including being appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Bateman creates art that reflects his commitments to ecology and preservation. Since the early 1960's, he has been an active member of naturalist clubs and conservation organizations. This involvement has increased in recent years and is now on a global scale. He has become a spokesperson for many environmental and preservation issues and has used his artwork and limited edition prints in fundraising efforts which have provided millions of dollars for worthy causes.

Born in Toronto, Mr. Bateman obtained a degree in geography from the University of Toronto. He has been a teacher all his life, teaching high school for 20 years including two years in Nigeria. He still gives lectures on the beauty and plight of the planet, and on the importance of connecting children with nature.

In 2007, Robert Bateman and Birgit Freybe Bateman gifted Royal Roads University with original art, giclées, photographs, sketch books and artifacts - valued at over $11 million. The university is now fundraising to build the Robert Bateman Centre that will house this legacy. The Centre will be a catalyst for dialogue, research, education, outreach and stewardship through a range of life-long learning programming. It will lead sustainable community development by bringing the best, diverse minds to the table in democratic dialogues around critical public policy issues. The Centre's programming will also explore the design and redesign of the built environment by taking into equal consideration stewardship of place and the sustainability of the natural environment.