Sun, 05/20/2012 – Sun, 09/02/2012

Payne Hurd Gallery

Clare Leighton (1899-1989) was an accomplished illustrator, author, painter and wood engraver. Leighton was born in England, where she received the majority of her artistic training. After her formal studies, she traveled throughout Europe where she sketched landscapes and peasant workers. In 1939, captivated by the diversity of the American landscape, she emigrated to the United States.

Leighton’s designs were rendered using a very hard wood that was cut across the grain that allowed Leighton to realize fine, intricate details. It is through these small details and the strong use of dark and light contrasts that the vibrant and rhythmic nature of her figures and landscapes are revealed. One gets the sense that Leighton had a tremendous love for the land and respect for the people working it.


Clare Leighton British, born c. 1899-1989. Breaking Camp, 1931, wood engraving. Gift of Paul K. Kania, 2009.