Leonard Weber was born in 1918 in New York City.

His passion for art goes all the way back to his childhood on the Lower East Side of New York. He was born to parents of modest means but his mother had a love for art and would Weber to the art museums where, he said, “she would hold me up so I could see the paintings at eye level.

She would frequently take him to the movies at the Paramount Theater in Times Square.

“We’d go early so we could spend time looking at all the paintings in the lobby before the movie began,” Weber said.

By the time he was 5 or 6, he was drawing but he lost interest in high school. After he got out of the Army in 1945, he enrolled at the Art Students League.

Berkshire Eagle, November 28, 1987

He began his art training at the Educational Alliance and won a Wanamaker Award in 1932. After serving in the army in World War II, he studied at the Art Students League in New York and in Rome, Italy. He later served on the faculty of the Art League of Long Island, the Queens College Youth Center, and the New York City YMCA. He later taught in Albany and Troy, New York.

Weber found the Berkshires in 1959 when he came her one summer to teach art in Pittsfield. He returned the following summer, found a barn in Monterey, “filled it with our paintings and before I knew it, the decision was made to live here permanently. The rural charm and natural beauty was irresistible.”

His medium was oils then but a 1963 trip to Mexico with his wife, Cynthia, changed all that.

“All the tropical colors, moved me to try watercolors. From that moment, my interest grew rapidly and my interest in oils diminished in equal proportion.”

Berkshire Eagle, November 28, 1987

“I was working in oils, as usual, and I was in Mexico in 1963. The colors were so bright down there I bought a watercolor set and started painting the marketplace.”

Ever since, watercolors have been his trademark.

The Troy Record, August 7, 2000

“The town of San Miguel de Allende is where I set up shop. That marketplace is where life passed in review before my eyes. The town is 175 miles north of Mexico City but is still in the 17th century.”

The Berkshire Eagle, July 2, 1965

His work has appeared in the Schenectady N.Y. Museum, the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, CT, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA, the Albany Institute of History and Art, and the Press Club in New York City.

His work is a part of numerous private collections including the Laurence Collection of Williams College, former Governor Mario Cuomo of N.Y., the Raytheon Corporation, former Senator Sam Nunn, the City of Troy, N.Y. and City of Hamilton, Bermuda.

Leonard Weber at work

“All of us have visited some hamlet that has been passed by by progress. They look very dated.

What I want to do is leave behind a body of work that would give the viewer an idea of what living in communities was like in the 20th century.”

Berkshire Eagle, November 28, 1987