Leo Brooks has become one of Maine's
most easily recognizable artists for his unique signature style.Though
using the same subject matter as many of his peers, beach scenes,
fishermen, landscapes etc., he imbued them with a lyrical simplicity
that has been mistakenly referred to as "naive". Strictly
speaking, a naive artist is one who has never been schooled or
exposed to "fine" art.
It is true that Brooks did not start painting until he was 60,
but he worked at the New York Times as a typesetter until then.
He read the art and theatre reviews and discussed them with the
In the 1930's worked as a society photographer, then as a documentary
photographer for the WPA, depicting the suffering of The Great
Depression. Many of those photographs were collected by The Museum
of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Art, and The Shomburg collection.
After retiring from The Times, he studied with Mario Cooper at
The Art Students League and with Edgar Whitney. He wasa member
of the Maramoneck Artists' Guild, The Salmagundi Club in Manhattan,
The Hudson River Contemporary Club in Yonkers, and the artists
aggregate known as the "Thirty Artists".