In childhood days the land and its living things had evoked the curiosity of William R. Leigh (1866-1955), and, in later years, travel to Africa with a museum expedition was perhaps an unimagined possibility for an artist whose works had included wildlife. Leigh celebrated his subjects with warmth and integrity, whether dynamic scenes from the American West or animals of a pristine Africa.
Leigh was born in West Virginia and spent his early years amidst nature and in making sketches of his surrounds. His drawing ability led to enrollment in the Maryland Institute at Baltimore in 1880, where he excelled. With financial assistance from extended family, he moved forward in his training, and in 1883 he was bound for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (DuBois J. W. R. Leigh: The Definitive Illustrated Biography. Kansas City, MO: Lowell Press; 1977:i-209).
Smith JM. A Rock on the Lukenia HillsWilliam R. Leigh. JAMA. 2016;315(20):2150-2151. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.14281