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Born near Falling Waters, West Virginia on a plantation a year after the Civil War, and raised in Baltimore, William Leigh became one of the foremost painters of the American West with a career of seventy-five years. Some people referred to him as the "Sagebrush Rembrandt". Trips to the Southwest began in 1906 when he made an agreement with William Simpson, Santa Fe Railway advertising manager, to paint the Grand Canyon in exchange for free transportation West. In 1907, he completed his Grand Canyon painting, which led to many more commissions and an extensive painting trip through Arizona and New Mexico. These travels inspired him to paint western subjects for the next 50 years, but it was not until the 1940s that he received much recognition. He painted in the Southwest nearly every summer between 1912 and 1926 and focused on the Hopi and Navajo Indians. In 1910, he traveled to Wyoming, where he painted in Yellowstone Park and did sketches, many which he later converted into large canvases such as "Lower Falls of the Yellowstone"(1915) and "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" (1911). His style was realistic, and his palette invariably had the Southwestern hues of soft pinks, reds, yellows and purples. In fact, his critics who knew little of the Southwest accused him of fabricating the colors. Many of his works are at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In March, 1999, the Historical Center of Cody, Wyoming held an exhibition of his field sketches and finished works depicting his experiences near Cody, Wyoming in the early part of the century, between 1910 and 1921. These years, many which he spent painting in the Carter Mountain vicinity, were considered crucial to his artistic development because he was exposed to western landscape. His companion during these travels was Cody taxidermist Will Richard who stirred his interest in wildlife.
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A prominent landscape and marine painter, Jules Eugène Pages spent most of his career in France where he was a well-known Impressionist painter, but he maintained close ties to his native city of San Francisco and was influential in introducing that painting style to Northern California. He was born in San Francisco, California on May 16, 1867 and was raised in the artistic milieu of his father's engraving business, where he worked as an apprentice. In 1888 he sailed to Paris to study at Academie Julian under Jules Lefebvre, Benjamin Constant, and Fleury. After returning to San Francisco, he worked as an illustrator for the Examiner and Call newspapers. Upon returning to Paris in 1902, he began teaching night classes at the Academie Julian and served as its director. Pages gained international recognition while in France and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1910. In 1915 he exhibited at the Panama Pacific International Exposition and was a member of the International Jury of Awards. Although he remained in France for forty years, he returned to his native city often to visit and exhibit. At the outbreak of World War II, Pages returned to San Francisco and died there on May 22, 1946. He was a member of the Bohemian Club; International Society of Sculptors & Painters in Paris. He exhibited at the Paris Salon, 1895 with honorable mention, and won Gold Medals there in 1899 and 1905. He also exhibited at the Steckel Gallery in Los Angeles in 1909; at the Bohemian Club, 1924, solo exhibition; the California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1946 memorial exhibition.