This is a collection of illustrations by well-known artist, engraver and author Clare Leighton for "The Book of Psalms [and] The First Psalm of David, the Book of Proverbs [and] The Book of Ecclesiastes," published by Doubleday, 1952. Nineteen original drawings are included with partly touched printed page proofs for all of the published illustrations. Also included are some drawings that were omitted from the book.
The artwork is accompanied by some correspondence between Leighton and the publisher.
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Clare Veronica Hope Leighton was born in London, England, on April 12, 1899. Both parents, Robert Leighton and Marie Connor were writers. Ms. Leighton trained at the Brighton School of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art (where she was prize-winner for portrait painting), the University of London (1921-23), and at the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts, where she studied wood-engraving under Noel Rooke.
In 1939, Leighton emigrated to the U.S., and became a naturalized citizen in 1945. She settled in Connecticut where she continued her work.
Although a recognized painter, Leighton is best known for her wood-engravings, particularly of rural subjects. In the 1930s her political commitment revealed itself through exhibitions with the AIA and illustrations for the "New Left Review." Her bold, close-up portrayal of laborers and agricultural and gardening tools has been likened to the style of "Neue Sachlichkeit" ("New Objectivity").
Leighton has illustrated many publications of literary classics, as well as gardening and children's books. She was also the illustrator of of her own books, including, "Woodcuts: Examples of the Work of Clare Leighton," with an introduction by Hilaire Belloc (Longmans, Green, 1930); "The Musical Box," for children (Longmans, Green, 1932); "How to do Wood-Engraving and Woodcuts," (The Studio, 1932; reprinted, Branford, 1960); and many others.
Work by Leighton is represented in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum in London; the Metropolitan Musem of Art in New York; the Boston Fine Arts Museum in Massachusetts; and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., among others.
In 1930, Leighton won first prize at the International Engravers Exhibition held by the Art Institute of Chicago. She represented England in wood engraving at the International Exhibition in Venice in 1934. Colby College in Maine, presented her with an honorary doctorate in fine arts in 1940.
[Sources: Contemporary Authors 108; "A Biographical Dictionary of Women Artists in Europe and America Since 1850"; Mantle Fielding's "Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers."]
ACCESSION DATA: Provenance: Acquired from Waverly Auctions, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, April 9, 1992. Size: 1 box, 0.50 linear feet Processed by Lisette C. Matano, June 1992.
BULK DATES: 1949 - 1952
SPAN DATES: 1949 - 1952
EXTENT: 1 box; 0.50 lf