Lucile Leighton

b. 1911, Chicago, IL - d. 1983, La Jolla, CA

Lucile Leighton was born in Chicago, where she enjoyed a long career as an artist and teacher. She studied at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) as well as the Evanston Academy of Fine Arts, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, with Misch Kohn. She and her husband, documentary filmmaker Robert Leighton, traveled extensively, and Leighton was said to be especially fond of the Far East. Leighton was a founding member of Exhibit A Gallery, an artistic cooperative in Chicago, and her works—in oil, acrylic, drawing, watercolor, and printmaking—were exhibited widely in Chicago and across the United States.

Leighton's painting in the Friedman collection, Untitled (City street), has such a tilted perspective that the street appears almost vertical, as if aligned with the canvas, and the buildings seem to lean sideways. The long shadows and extreme angle convey an altered perspective of a typical city street. The crowded city block of buildings, shown in a late-afternoon raking light, contrasts with the empty street where children run freely.

Lisa Meyerowitz


“Lucile Leighton, Artist and Teacher.” [Obituary]. Chicago Tribune, September 25, 1983.

Yochim, Louis Dunn. Harvest of Freedom: A Survey of Jewish Artists in America. Chicago: American References, 1989.

———. Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists. Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979.

Works by Lucile Leighton