William Robinson Leigh (1866-1955)

Grand Canyon of Arizona, 1909
Oil, 20 in x 16 in
Born on a farm in West Virginia, William Leigh trained at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore and the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany, his education funded by less-impoverished members of his own family. After he completed his studies, Leigh worked as an illustrator for Scribners and Colliers Weekly magazines in New York. He first visited the Southwest in 1906 under the sponsorship of the Santa Fe Railway, The western environment and landscape drew him back again and again. A writer as well as a painter, Leigh wrote plays and books, two of which he illustrated: The Westem Pony (1933) and Frontiers of Enchantment (1938). Leigh was a member of the National Academy of Design and founded the Allied Artists of America and the Authors' League. Upon his death, Leigh's studio contents, including more than 500 paintings, were donated to the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Oklahoma.

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Grand Canyon Association, 2000

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