Sunday, February 14, 2021

Women Artists of California: Leslie Buck

“Jimson Weed” Oil on Canvas : 24" H x 20" W, circa 1930
(image courtesy: Anderson Campbell Art & Appraisals)

Leslie Buck was an accomplished California artist known for her still life’s and scenes of the American West. Her artist husband, Claude Buck, is perhaps better known, although Leslie Buck produced a significant and accomplished body of work. Many women artists such as Lee Krasnow, Helen Frankenthaler, Helen Lundeberg, and Jessie Arms Botke, were overshadowed by their famous male counterparts. But now, more is becoming known of these equally if not more talented artists. In the art market many works by these women are still undervalued. Leslie Buck is one of those artists.

Leslie Helen Binner Buck (1907-1991) was born in Chicago in1907. She began her art studies at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was here where she met Claude Buck whom she would marry in 1934. Claude Buck had attended  National Academy of Design and was taught by artists  Emile Carlsen, George deForest Brush, Francis Jones, and Kenyon Cox. Buck had also traveled to Munich and was exposed to much of the modernist and surreal movements of Europe. Claude implemented Surrealist scenes in many of his paintings. 

Leslie Buck loved traveling in the Western part of the United States, painting still lifes and Native American subjects. Leslie Buck’s “Jimson Weed” is a characteristic still life but with a unique modern sensibility. The Bucks live in Santa Cruz, CA near San Francisco in 1943 where they lived and painted for nearly 20 years. In 1959 Leslie Buck moved to Santa Barbara where she lived until her death in 1991.

Buck’s work is included in a recent book on California women artists entitled: Emerging from the Shadows by Maurine St. Gaudens. For more information on Leslie Buck please visit

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