Barbara Harvey Leighton (Barleigh)

Canadian [1911-1986]

Alberta Society of Artists, Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers

Barbara Mary Harvey was born in Plymouth, England, in 1909. After her family moved to Alberta, she attended the Provincial Institute of Design and Technology in Calgary in 1930, where she met Alfred (A. C.) Leighton, her instructor and school’s director. They were married in the early morning of Sunday, May 31, 1931 and their honeymoon was spent packing into the Kananaskis area to paint.

After their marriage, Barbara Leighton continued to create woodblock prints and manage her husband’s career as well. She was elected to the Canadian Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1941, and belonged to the Alberta Society of Artists.

In 1941 the Leightons bought a farm in Chilliwack, BC and then built a house in Crescent Beach, near Vancouver. Barbara exhibited a colour woodblock print with the B.C. Society of Fine Arts in their annual exhibition in 1942.
A.C. Leighton felt the West Coast was too temperate for a landscape painter, so they moved back to Alberta, buying a house in Calgary.

In 1960, A. C. Leighton’s health began to deteriorate rapidly. They made a trip back to England for medical inquiries about his stomach ailment, but A. C. Leighton died in 1965 after his long illness.

Not wanting to sit around and feel sorry for herself, Barbara Leighton enrolled at Alberta College of Art and Design. In her mid-fifties, she received a diploma in fiber and metal crafts, and for two years won scholarships in Visual Arts.

For extra income after her husband's death, Barbara composed linocuts and woodcuts entirely from works by her husband, tracing his work and then making a number of woodblocks for colours. She usually produced editions of 100, and she produced a very limited amount of images, (perhaps fewer than 25 in all). She signed her work “Barleigh”, a combination of her maiden and married surnames, She labelled each print “Block print from the original painting by A.C. Leighton, cut and printed by Barleigh.”

In 1970, Barbara turned her home in the Calgary Foothills into a gallery featuring the work of her husband and his contemporaries and a craft centre for artists and a teaching facility for children. The complex grew over the years and is now known as the Leighton Art Centre which is operated by a foundation established by Barbara in 1974.

In 1984, Barbara received the Alberta Achievement Award for her contribution to Alberta's arts.

Barbara Leighton died in 1986.

We are currently seeking works by Barbara Leighton to be included in future auctions.

If you are interested in selling with us or wish to get our opinion of the value of your artworks please contact us for an appointment to evaluate your artwork for auction.

A Few Notable Results from our Auctions

Barbara Harvey Leighton

MORAINE LAKE
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #83/100
12 x 14.5 in.

Sold for $ 2,250 (hammer price) – November 2020
A record price at auction for the artist

Barbara Harvey Leighton

EVENING, BOW LAKE
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #69/100
11.75 x 14.5 in.

Sold for $ 1,700 (hammer price) - September 2020

Barbara Harvey Leighton

MOUNT ASSINIBOINE
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #19/100
11 x 14.5 in.

Sold for $ 1,400 (hammer price) – November 2020

Barbara Harvey Leighton

EVENING, BOW LAKE
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #23/100
11.75 x 14.5 in.

Sold for $ 1,200 (hammer price) - May 2019

Barbara Harvey Leighton

EMERALD LAKE
colour woodcut on paper; ed.#4/100
11.5 x 14.5 in.

Sold for $ 1,400 (hammer price) – November 2020

Barbara Harvey Leighton

RANGE GOSSIP
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #91/100
11 x 14.75 in.

Sold for $ 1,100 (hammer price) - May 2006

Barbara Harvey Leighton

MORAINE LAKE
colour woodcut on paper; ed.#86/100
9.75 x 12.75 in.

Sold for $ 1,050 (hammer price) – May 2012

Barbara Harvey Leighton

MOUNT EISENHOWER
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #21/100
11.5 x 14.5 in.

Sold for $ 950 (hammer price) - May 2016

Barbara Harvey Leighton

LAKE LOUISE
colour woodcut on paper; ed.#47/100
10.75 x 13.5 in.

Sold for $ 850 (hammer price) – June 2020

Barbara Harvey Leighton

DEER, KANANASKIS
colour woodcut on paper; ed. #76/100
10.5 x 9.75 in.

Sold for $ 950 (hammer price) - May 2016

Since 1983, Hodgins Art Auctions is your trusted source for buying and selling art by Barbara Harvey Leighton (Barleigh) and other important Canadian artists.

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