David Leffel

David A. Leffel is a twentieth-century artist who paints in the classic Flemish/Dutch old master style, much in the manner of Rembrandt or Chardin. His subject matter is still lifes, landscapes, portraits, and figures, but the real subject of his work is the light as it gently drifts from one object to another. It pauses here, then moves on. Light is, in fact, what Leffel calls the concept of the painting.

For David, beauty is absolute, perfect and universal. He believes the goal of the artist is to understand beauty and to translate its essence upon the canvas. His art reflects this constant striving to expand this understanding, and, his artistic application of the knowledge.

Since beauty is absolute, and not relative to the artist, art is timeless. Although Leffel's works remind us of the Dutch Baroque painters, he is a master of light and shadow. Even Leffel's simplest still lifes are dramatic, and fill us with a profound sense of awe. We must appreciate the art of David A. Leffel on its own terms, and not try to apply stylistic associations to his work. The beauty we see and feel on a Leffel canvas testifies to his understanding and talent

Born in New York City, Leffel attended both Parsons School of Design and Fordham University. In 1959 and 1960 he studied at the Art Students League, New York City on a Merit Scholarship. In addition to his many one- man gallery shows, Leffel's work has been exhibited in numerous important group and museum shows.

Statement of Purpose:

''Art is an expression of unity and universality, not temporal factors. It is a means of reaffirming life, of overcoming confusion...''

National Professional Awards:

  • 1990 Gold Medal Oil, National Academy of Western Art 1986 Gold Medal Oil, Allied Artists of America
  • 1984 Grand Prize, American Artists Professional League 1983 First Prize Oil, Art Annual IV
  • 1982 Ralph Fabri Medal, Allied Artists of America
  • 1981 Gold Medal Oil, National Academy of Western Art
  • 1981 Gold Medal of Honor, Hudson Valley Art Associa- tion
  • 1980 Best Light and Atmospheric Effect, Hudson Valley Art Association
  • 1979 Marcia H. Van Der Voort Award, Hudson Valley Art Association
  • 1979 American Artists Society Award, Pastel Society of America
  • 1978 Margaret Fernald Dole Memorial Award, Hudson Valley Art Association
  • 1977 Thora Jensen Memorial Award, Hudson Valley Art Association
  • 1977 Jane Peterson Award, Allied Artists of America
  • 1975 John Newington Award, Hudson Valley Art Associa- tion
  • 1974 Archer M. Huntington Prize Best Portrait, Hudson Val- ley Art Association
  • 1973 Cash Award, Grumbacher Artists Materials Co., Allied Artists of America
  • 1972 Archer M. Huntington Prize Best Portrait, Hudson Val- ley Art Association
  • 1971 National Arts Club Prize, Allied Artists of America 1970 W.G. Matchette Prize, National Watercolor Centennial
  • 1970 Archer M. Huntington Prize Best Portrait, Hudson Val- ley Art Association
  • 1969 Maria Cantarella Memorial Award, Allied Artists of America
  • 1968 Archer M. Huntington Prize Best Portrait, Hudson Val- ley Art Association
  • 1967 Best Still Life, Pennational Annual
  • 1966 First Honorable Mention, Pennational Annual
  • 1966 Archer M. Huntington Prize Best Portrait, Hudson Val- ley Art Association
  • 1965 H.E. Ogden Campbell Memorial Prize, Hudson Valley Art Association
  • 1964 Frank Vincent DuMond Prize, Salmugundi Club
  • 1964 Archer M. Huntington Prize Best Portrait, Hudson Val- ley Art Association
  • 1963 Salmagundi Club Prize, Salmugundi Club

Periodicals including artist:

  • 2008 April Art of the West The StudioApril by Emily Van Cleve
  • 2006 October Southwest Art Collector's Choice by Gussie Fauntleroy
  • 2006July Fine Art Connoisseur Today's MastersDavid A. Leffel by Rachel Wolf
  • 2005April Art Talk Journey Through Looking Glass by Renee Targos
  • 2004September Southwest Art In Praise of Youth by Kristin Bucher
  • 2004September Southwest Art Art EventsNew Mexico by Wolf Schneider
  • 2004July Art of the West A Rational Pursuit by Nancy Gillespie
  • 2004April Art Talk The 21st Annual Spring Arts Celebration - editors
  • 2004April Art Talk King of the King of Mediums by Paul Soderberg
  • 2004March Southwest Art On the Scene by J. Osterman
  • 2003December California Art Club Newsletter Museum/ Gallery Exhibitions by Teddi Dempwolf
  • 2003November Art of the West What's News - editors
  • 2003October American Artist Recent Award Winners - editor
  • 2003July Art of the West What's News -editor 2003July Southwest Art On theScene - editors
  • 2003June Southwest Art Art Events Colorado by Bonnie Gangelhoff
  • 1998January Art of the West The Future is Now by Vicki Stavig
  • 1996July Southwest Art Market Report by Susan McGarry
  • 1995May Southwest Art David Leffel/Sherrie McGraw by Shari R. Carmen
  • 1995March Art of the West What's News
  • 1995March Southwest Art Sales and Auctions by Kristin Bucher
  • 1988 - September Southwest Art Painters and Artists/ Drawing the Lineby David A. Leffel
  • 1988 - November U.S. Art The Unbearable Stillness of Life by Wm. U. Eiland
  • 1981 - Who's Who in American Art 1971 - October American Artist 1971 - March The New Mexican 1970 - November The New Mexican 1968 - November Art World
  • 1968 - The Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, PA 1967 - May The Chicago Tribune
  • 1967 - May The Chicago Sunday Times
  • 1966 - The Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, PA 1965 - April Art News
  • 1962 - April Art News

Books Written by Artist:

  • 2008Self Portraits: A Visual Journey of Insights, David Leffel
  • 2004An Artist Teaches, David Leffel
  • 1984 - Oil Painting Secrets from a Master, Cateura/Leffel Books in which artist or works are featured:
  • 1982 - Artists of the Rockies and the Golden West
  • 1977 - Painting Women's Portraits by Joe Singer
  • 2003May Southwest Art Best of the WestTexas editors
  • 2003February Southwest Art Art Events Arizona editors
  • 2002November Southwest Art Art Events- Texas - editors
  • 2002November Art Talk Shari's Notebook by Shari Morrison
  • 2002June Art Talk He Said, She Said by John Jarvis
  • 2002June California Art Club Newsletter Saralynn & John Garrity by Molly Siple
  • 2001August Art and Antiques Art Capitals of the Southwest By Esther Schmidt
  • 2001May Southwest Art 30 Years of Southwest Art - editors
  • 2001April Art of the West Oil Painters of America -editors
  • 2000August Art and Antiques From Ruinous to Luminous by Rebecca Robinson
  • 1999March Art Talk Has Abstraction Altered Realism guest writers
  • 1999 - Taos Magazine Celebrating 30 Years by Curtis Waters
  • 1977 - Painting Men's Portraits by Joe Singer


  • 1973-74 Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ - Still Life and Portraiture
  • 1971 - Present Art Students League, NY - Life Drawing, Painting, Portraiture, Figure and Composition
  • 1958-62 American Association of Psychiatry and Reli- gion, NY - Life Drawing
  • Scottsdale Artist's School - Workshop Pallete and Chisel, Chicago
  • Indianapolis Art Center
  • George Washington University Fredericksburg Artist's School - Workshop Fechin Institute
  • Denver Art Student's League California Art Institute
  • Art Student's League, New York American University
  • Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art


  • Elizabeth T. Greenshields Museum, Montreal, Canada Eugenia Zuckerman
  • Ida Kavafian and Steve Tenonbom
  • J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
  • Mr. and Mrs. Anton Kuskin
  • Mr. and Mrs. G. Harvey
  • Mr. and Mrs. George Carlson
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Geraghty
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Mellencamp
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas William Jones Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas
  • New York Racing Association, New York, NY Princeton
  • University, Princeton, NJ
  • Senator John Warner
  • Wellington Fund, New York, NY
  • Welna Galleries, Chicago, IL Yugoslav Embassy, New York, NY