The General Andrew Lewis Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met for their October meeting at the Mi Tequila Restaurant located at the Greenbrier Valley Airport. Regent Deborah Phillips presided. Past Regent Sally Ford and Karen Lee McClung were the hostesses for the meeting.
A very informative program was presented by Karen Price of Charleston regarding West Virginia’s Lost Treasures. She spoke to the members about a West Virginia artist, William R. Leigh and his West Virginia painting that has been lost to WV. The following is from the website of the Jackson Hole Art Auction:
“William R. Leigh was born in West Virginia in 1866 and spent his boyhood on a farm. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the Maryland Institute in Baltimore to begin his art training. Although from a very poor family, he managed to spend twelve years in Europe where he studied at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany. Upon returning to the United States he opened a studio in New York and did illustrations for “Scribner’s Magazine.” It was not until he was forty years old that he was able to see the West which had occupied his thoughts for such a long time. His bold use of color depicted the clear light and brilliant hues of the West as he saw it. It was during this phase of his career that he came to be known as the “Sagebrush Rembrandt.” In 1926 and 1928 he made two trips to Africa. On these trips he did many paintings of big game and returning to New York he did the backgrounds for animal habitat groups. He painted in the Southwest nearly every summer between 1912 and 1926. His style was realistic.”
He painted West Virginia Woodchopper [or] West Virginia Farm Boy in 1903.
Price saw that the painting was coming to auction and immediately began a campaign to have it bought by a West Virginian and hopefully exhibited in the Cultural Center. She called all the elected and appointed officials she knew but was not able to persuade one to buy it. The painting has been sold several times and at the last auction, the estimate was for between $300,000 to $500,000.
Ms. Price also spoke about the paintings in an abandoned farmhouse in Nicholas County. She has again tried to get someone to rescue them. There was an article in the WV Gazette/Mail on January 5, 2018.
The business meeting was conducted by Regent Phillips and committee reports were given. To conclude the meeting, Regent Phillips presented to the out-going Regent Sandra Cowan, a pin in recognition of her service for two terms.