Honoring William Leigh (1866-1956)

A brilliant artist and illustrator, William Leigh, was one of the 12 founders of Allied Artists of America. Leigh was born in Falling Waters, West Virginia. As a talented young artist, at just 14 years old, Leigh attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. He later attended the Royal Academy in Munich. Leigh was recognized most for his painted Western scenes.


His successful career as a magazine illustrator brought Leigh to become a cyclorama artist.  Later he became an astrobiological artist for Cosmopolitan in 1908 where he had four pages of illustrations to accompany H.G. Wells article “The Things That Live on Mars.”   


He married twice. Leigh’s second wife, Ethel Leigh Traphafen was the founder of the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York City. 


In 1926 he was requested to travel to Africa for the American Museum of Natural History. This powerful experience led Leigh to write “Frontiers of Enchantment: An Artist’s Adventure in Africa”.  His adventures were chronicled in many magazines including THE SATURDAY EVENING POST and COLLIERS. He painted the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park but his real passion returned him to his primary subjects that were the Hopi Indians and Navajo Indians. 

"The Roping" 1914 oil on canvas


"Navajo Boy” 1914

“Bucking Bronco with Cowboy” 30” x 22” oil

Although "Navajo Boy values between $20,000 and $30,000, Interestingly, “Bucking Bronco with Cowboy” 30” x 22”. Oil. 

Sold for $345.00 

We at Allied Artists are proud of the success of our artists. 

By Art Historian, Elaine Clayman