American artist and illustrator (1866-1955) who was known for his painted Western scenes. ALS signed “W. R. Leigh,” six pages, 7.75 x 10, August 27, 1903. Lengthy letter to Mr. Wellets, relaying his career path as an artist, in part: "My work in general, has been, since I came to New York in 1894, illustrating. Before that, for 6 years I painted panoramas in Germany before that I taught drawing and painting, and painted portraits in Baltimore. While in Baltimore I painted various still-life pictures, while in Germany I painted a number of figure pictures, since I have been in New York I have painted a number of figure pictures, landscapes, and portraits…My start in art began when I was a child so young that I can't tell how young; I would draw instead of study since my earliest recollections. My mother was my first teacher; at first I thought she was a master, but after a while I got beyond her…After some months I was employed to work on a panorama of the battle of Waterloo. First I helped the landscape painters, then I was given all the cannon, earth works, and dead soldiers to paint. My earnings just paid off my debts, but my employer liked me so well that he offered to supply me with a monthly allowance during the winter, if I would work it out the following summer; I agreed and painted that winter a picture of children, which the Academy awarded me a silver medal for, and which afterwards received an honorable mention in the Paris Salon…My achievements, besides those I have mentioned, I have painted pictures here,—landscapes and figures, and portraits.—which have been hung well in the Academy of Design exhibits, and in many others all over the country. I have done drawings for Scribner's, Harper Brothers, McClures, Colliers…and others. The illustrating work which has attracted most notice has been 'The Workers,' published by Scribner's." Leigh adds his initials to a postscript. In very good to fine condition, with multiple horizontal folds, and some loss to the bottom of the last page which impinges on the signature.
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