Summer at The Heckscher Museum

Courtney M. Leonard, Blue Blood, 2015, laser etched paper lithograph. Collection of the Artist.

Sponsors: Andrea B. and Peter D. Klein & Pien and Hans Bosch

The Heckscher Museum of Art presents Courtney M. Leonard’s first retrospective and the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the greater New York metropolitan region. Leonard (Shinnecock, b. 1980) is among the most original and compelling voices in American contemporary art. Her work amplifies Indigenous knowledge and expresses reverence for the earth and sea while advocating for their protection. It engages with Long Island’s history, breaks new ground in the disciplines of ceramics and installation art, and underscores the importance of dialogue between indigenous knowledge, marine biology, and other sciences. 

One of the artworks on view, Leonard’s Blue Blood (2015), was created for the U.S. Art In Embassies program. Here is more about this work in Leonard’s own words: “Blue Blood is a response and visual account of current issues of environmental fragility and cultural sustainability pertaining to climate change and economic viability. The composition reflects nautical flags and charting, and the physical paper is etched with the image of an antique map of Long Island, New York.”

She continues, “As a child, I grew up walking the shoreline to witness the early summer season spawning and shell shedding of the horseshoe crabs. This memory is visually striking as both a marker of one of the oldest creatures on earth and, as I grew older and saw fewer along the shores, of their potential decline and extinction. It has been well published in the past few decades: the use of their blood, the color of which is blue, within the pharmaceutical industry as an antigen. Previous to this economic use, horseshoe crabs have been used by baymen outside of the Shinnecock Community in the fertilizer industry and as bait for the growing eel market overseas.”
Drop-In Workshops
Thursdays, July 13 to August 10
Ages 5 to 10
$10 per child, Adults free

Kids will create works of art in a variety of materials inspired by artwork in the Museum’s Collection and exhibitions. They will enjoy a different project every week! Programs will be held both in the Museum and in Heckscher Park. No advance registration is required, includes materials and admission to the Museum.

Also on View: Raise and Rood: The Home of Art
Sponsored by Robin T. Hadley

Captions for provided photos – please make Blue Blood the larger image.
Courtney M. Leonard, Blue Blood, 2015, laser etched paper lithograph. Collection of the Artist.

Courtney M. Leonard, Mátcík Way, 2005, ceramic. New York State Museum.