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Clare Leighton

Artist Biography

Clare Leighton

Clare Veronica Hope Leighton was born in London in 1898 and is best known for her wood engravings. In her teens the family moved to Keymer in Sussex and Leighton attended classes at Brighton College of Art before studying painting under Sir Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1922-3).

After her studies Leighton travelled to France, Italy and to the Balkans where she sketched landscapes and peasant workers. In 1939, Leighton travelled to the United States. She settled first in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from where she undertook a teaching post at Duke University before moving to Woodbury, Connecticut. She obtained book illustrating commissions including one for the works of Henry David Thoreau. 

During the later years of Leighton’s life she turned from wood engraving to stained glass, creating designs for the transept windows of St. Paul's Cathedral, Worcester. She died in November 1989 and is buried in Waterbury cemetery, Connecticut, having achieved as wide an acclaim in her adoptive country of the United States as she had already achieved in England, the country of her birth.