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Alfred Crocker Leighton

British, 1901 - 1965

A C Leighton was born in Hastings, Sussex, in 1901. While he showed an early aptitude for drawing, he went on to study architecture at the Hastings Municipal School of Art. Leighton's working model of the Port of Liverpool convinced the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to hire him as its Chief Commercial Artist. A C Leighton first visited Canada as an employee of the company in 1924, sketching scenes from the train which the company had first options on.

Exhibitions of his artwork received accolades across Canada. In 1929 Leighton shifted to Canada permanently and became the director of the Institute of Art and Technology in Calgary where he taught until 1935. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. Leighton was an extremely competent draftsman in pencil, pastel and watercolours, the latter distinguished by their gentle gradations in tone and strong statement of form. His work is held by the National Gallery of Canada as well as numerous regional, corporate and private collections. After his death in 1965, Leighton's wife Barbara incorporated his unsold paintings into the Leighton Foundation and converted their home near Calgary into a gallery and art education centre.