Michener Art Museum

Harry Leith-Ross


Harry Leith-Ross, photo courtesy James A. Michener Art Museum library
PAINTER
BORN: January 27, 1886, Mauritius
DIED: March 15, 1973, Pineville, Pennsylvania


Born in 1886 in the former British colony of Mauritius, Harry Leith-Ross grew up in Scotland and England. He came to the United States at the invitation of an uncle in 1903. After studying in Paris, London and returning to America, he worked in commercial art and advertising. In 1913, he left the advertising world to study painting at the Art Students League's summer school at Woodstock, New York. During the 1910s Leith-Ross exhibited his first landscapes at the National academy of Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Leith-Ross worked primarily in oils and watercolors and won the first of eleven prizes from the Salmagundi Club in New York the following year.

He conducted classes in landscape painting in Woodstock and in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts. Leith-Ross settled permanently in New Hope in 1935 when he temporarily took over teaching duties for John Fulton Folinsbee, a former classmate who was summering in Maine. In the ensuing years, the artist would become an integral part of the New Hope art community and win awards from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Phillips' Mill, National Academy of Design, American Watercolor Society, and the Salmagundi Club among others. He was a visiting instructor at the University of Buffalo, New York and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. In 1956, he wrote The Landscape Painter's Manual.