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William R. Leigh

William Leigh was a European trained painter who studied painting at the German Royal Academy in Munich for over 10 years. He was a nationally recognized landscape painter and considered one of the fathers of the American genre painting. Akeley admired Leigh's work and hired him to work at the museum. Unlike most of the museum artists features in this exhibition, Leigh was a short term employee of the museum. He began working as a background artist when he was 60 years old. All together, Leigh painted eight backgrounds for the AMNH.

Leigh travelled to Africa with the Akeley-Eastman-Pomeroy expedition and created studies for several of the African Hall's backgrounds including the Kilpsringer, Bufallo and Gorilla Group dioramas. He was present at Kivu mountain during Akeley's last days.

William R. Leigh