Louise Nicholson

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Louise Nicholson
Born (1954-05-01) 1 May 1954 (age 63)
Pyrford, Surrey, England
Education MA Honours Degree in History of Art
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation Journalist, author, lecturer
Spouse(s) Nicholas Wapshott
Children William, Oliver
Website Louise's India & Save a Child

Louise Nicholson (born 1 May 1954) is a British arts journalist, author and lecturer who concentrates upon the art and culture of India and London. She is a regular contributor to Apollo[1] and Fine Art Connoisseur[2] where she writes about art collectors, their collections, art leaders, museums and fine art events. Her 26 books are mostly about India and London.[3] Her consultancy company offers advice and customised travel arrangements to India for individuals and groups; she leads small group tours herself for museums, arts groups and businessmen. She founded Save a Child, a non-profit that supports over 300 disadvantaged children in India through sponsorship. In 2001 Louise moved with her family to New York

Early life[edit]

Born in Pyrford, Surrey, England, Nicholson is the last of five children of Roydon Joseph and Evelyn Sophia Carlton (Reader) Nicholson. After attending The Furs and Halstead primary schools in Woking, her high school was St Michael's Burton Park at Petworth. She graduated with an MA honours degree in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh in 1976. In 1980 she married the journalist, author and broadcaster Nicholas Wapshott (1952 –), who commentates on politics, economics and the arts. They have two sons, William (1988 –) and Oliver (1990 –).


Nicholson started working in 1976 at the Victorian Society, London, the organisation that campaigns to protect 19th century buildings through the Listed Building protection scheme and raising awareness of quality architectural conservation; she worked for the Secretary, Hermione Hobhouse.[4] She later co-founded the Twentieth Century Society (at first named The Thirties Society) with Clive Aslet, Gavin Stamp and Bevis Hillier in 1978. Among the important post-1914 British buildings she helped preserve were Alfred Waterhouse's Natural History Museum and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's Battersea Power Station and Bankside Power Station (now Tate Modern.)

In 1978 Nicholson joined Christie's Auction House in London, London, to specialise in Indian and Islamic art. In 1981 she moved to The Times newspaper, as an arts, culture and travel journalist; she also wrote for The Observer in London (1984–1994) and was a bi-weekly columnist for The Telegraph in Calcutta (1985–1993).

Nicholson is an author. In 1985 her guide to India was published; her guide to London followed in 1988. She has published over 25 books, and her National Geographic Guides to India and London are in their 3rd and 4th editions respectively.[5]

In 1985 Nicholson began her India consultancy and lecture tours, later founding Louise's India. The same year she founded Save a Child, a non-profit working from the UK and, since 2011, the US to support disadvantaged children in India through long term sponsorship. Over 300 children are supported, living in residential homes in and near Kolkata and New Delh; the homes include Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Barrackpore; All Bengal Women's Union, Kolkata, and the Institute for the Blind and S D Jain Mahila Ashram, both in Delhi.

In 1990, Nicholson was Executive Producer on the highly acclaimed six-part TV documentary The Great Moguls made for Channel Four, screened in the US on PBS.


Through Louise's India, Nicholson offers consultancy for visiting India and leads bespoke individual and group tours there. She covers all the countries of the Indian subcontinent, specialising in India.

Nicholson lectures in India and in museums and institutions in the UK and US on aspects of India's and London's art, history and culture – in the UK at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Geographic Society and Asia House; in the US to chapters of the English-Speaking Union and at museums in Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Denver; in New York at the United Nations, Harvard Club, Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Arts and Design. She has been Guest Lecturer for trips to India for National Trust of America, National Geographic, Young presidents' Organization, and Fellows of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles.

Nicholson writes for Apollo art magazine, specialising in interviewing collectors and reporting from fine art events. She is a senior feature writer for Fine Art Connoisseur. She also contributes to Country Life, Conde Nast Traveler,[6] Travel & Leisure, and Departures.[7] She was a contributor to Gourmet magazine.

Nicholson is an active member of a professional organisations and non-profit committees in the US. She won the National Association of Professional Women's 2010 Woman of the Year Award.[8] She is a member of the writers organisation PEN, Art Table, the American Council for Southern Asian Art, the Couture Council of the Fashion Institute of Technology; she is a Board member of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) (America).[9]

In 2011 she founded the US chapter of her non-profit Save a Child (founded 1985). It supports disadvantaged children in India by long term sponsorship, helping help them fulfill their potential through education to become self-sufficient. More than 300 children are supported, living in residential homes in and near Kolkata and New Delhi; the homes include Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Barrackpore; All Bengal Women's Union, Kolkata, and the Institute for the Blind and S D Jain Mahila Ashram, both in Delhi.