Eugene Leake

Eugene “Bud” Leake, pronounced “Leaky,” was a landscape painter and president of the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work was characterized by a consistent commitment to the depiction of the landscape, not following ever-changing trends of contemporary art in the 20th century. In an October 2000 Baltimore Sun article Glenn McNatt wrote that, “For the past quarter century, Leake has been recording that landscape in all its moods and seasons, from riotous sun-drenched spring mornings to the magical glow of autumnal sunsets. His paintings are imbued with an unmistakable sense of place that only one who has lived in and loved the surrounding landscape can create.”

“Leake belongs to the long tradition of American artists who have had often-rapturous love affairs with nature. His work are heirs to the spirit of the oil sketches of English master John Constable (1776-1837) and the early works of French landscape artist Camille Corot (1796-1875), both of whom insisted that painting must be based on observable facts and reflect the truth of the moment.”

In a 1993 ARTnews article Tom Weisser wrote: “Leake’s great strength is his ability to capture the essence of things with economy and easy grace. Light, space, and climate materialize in his pictures from what seems to be an absolute minimum of brushwork. His paint has a soft, buttery quality. Yet the viewer can almost feel the flat, hard cold of Leake’s gray winter mornings, the snap of his autumn afternoons, and the electricity in his gathering summer skies.”