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William Leigh (1866-1955)

 

William R. Leigh was born in 1866 and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where he excelled at the Maryland Institute.  Leigh spent the years 1883-1895 studying in Europe, primarily at the Royal Academy in Munich.

 

In 1896 Leigh began a relatively unrewarding period in New York providing illustrations for area publications, as well as producing portraits, landscapes and genre scenes.

 

Exchanging paintings for transit west, Leigh made arrangements with the Santa Fe Rail Company to visit the Grand Canyon in 1906.  This trip led to commercial success and many commissions followed.  With the funds hed earned, Leigh traveled the southwest extensively, finding inspiration that would stick with him for close to 50 years.  Leigh was fascinated with the Hopi and Navajo Indians he often made his subjects.

 

Adamantly opposed to modernism, Leigh painted in a realist style that matched the colorful hues of the American desert.  His works were for many years shown at the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York.  William Robinson Leigh died in New York in 1866.



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