William R. Leigh (1866-1955)
Navahos at Home (1949)
oil on canvas
22 × 33 inches
signed and dated lower left
Sold at Auction: $150,000
Condition ReportSurface condition excellent with no signs of inpainting.
Important Notice: Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction has no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
According to Leigh biographer June DuBois, “In April of 1912 Juan Lorenzo Hubbell received a letter from Albert Groll introducing him to ‘Mr. William R. Leigh, an old friend of mine and a fine artist.’ An answer to this letter awaited Leigh when he returned to the Frost-Richard ranch from the famous bear hunt. ‘It will be a great pleasure for me to entertain you while at Ganado and to from there send you to any locality that you may desire. I do not think that you can go any place in which you can have so many Indians and other things of interest to paint within a short distance of Ganado.’ The letter was signed, ‘Yours respectfully, Juan Lorenzo Hubbell.’
“Hubbell’s trading post at Ganado, Arizona opened its doors to business in 1876. The founder, Juan Lorenzo Hubbell, at twenty-four had already worked as clerk, interpreter, and guide in the Utah and Arizona territorities for seven years. Throughout a long career which eventually encompassed exclusive trade rights with one-seventh of the entire Navaho nation, this ambassador of good will came to be regarded by both red and white men with affection and respect.
“When Leigh came to Ganado only a handful of Navahos out of twenty thousand could speak or understand English. But they could all communicate with Hubbell who had gained the trust of the various tribes by learning their language and respecting their laws, customs and beliefs. He acted as interpreter, advisor, confidant. Fortunately for Leigh and others from the outside world, any friend of ‘Old Double Glasses,’ as the Navahos affectionately called Hubbell, was also a friend of the Indians.”
Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Private Collection, FL
Paintings by William R. Leigh, Washington Country Museum of Fine Art, Hagerstown, MD, 1955, No. 4
American International Fine Art Fair, Palm Beach, FL, Feb 5 - 13, 2011