Sometimes called “the Sagebrush Rembrandt,” William R. Leigh was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He studied Art at the Maryland Institute, and then for 12 years in Europe at the Royal Academy in Munich. Arriving back in New York in 1896, Leigh worked for several years as a relatively unsuccessful, mostly commercial, artist.
In 1906 Leigh began making trips out west. His travels to the southwest inspired Leigh to devote himself to painting art, prints and posters of the subject for the next 50 years.
Focusing primarily on the Navajo and Hopi Indians, Leigh’s art, prints and posters eventually earned him the acclaim of the Eastern critics. His works are realistic and dominated by the soft colors of the Southwest region.