Judith Leighton, Blue Hill Art Scene Mainstay, Dies at 81

BLUE HILL — Judith Leighton, an artist and art dealer who anchored Blue Hill’s downtown gallery scene for decades, died April 21 in Boston after a brief illness. She was 81.

The Leighton Gallery on Parker Point Road celebrated its 30th season last year, offering further testimony to Leighton’s passion for art and her dedication to bringing new artists to the forefront in Maine.


“She was a mainstay of the art scene in our region for decades, but also in Maine,” said Maine art historian and author Carl Little. “She offered a wonderful range of contemporary work by artists from here and from away, including such greats as Bernard Langlais and Francis Hamabe.”

In an interview last summer, Leighton recalled starting the gallery 30 years earlier and revealed her simple formula for success.

“I had a burning desire to show good artwork and I didn’t want to show what everyone else was showing, as far as the Maine local scene,” she said

Her passion was coupled with an uncanny intuition for identifying good artwork.

“She had a great eye,” Little said.

Leighton Gallery was voted the “Best Gallery in Maine” by a Maine Times people poll and cited in leading art magazines as “one of the best galleries on the East Coast.”

An accomplished artist in her own right, Leighton’s passion for art blossomed in childhood and has thrived ever since.

Know when to pay your respects.