Eclipse of the Sun is a masterpiece of political art and one of the most significant paintings in a public collection on Long Island. As signaled by the dollar sign darkening the sun, a symbol of life, the artwork critiques the greed and violence of Germany’s military, politicians, and industrialists. The tilted perspective, dissonant color, and ambiguous sense of space underscore the instability of the period following World War I.
Grosz depicts mindless bureaucrats in a grim setting surrounding the decorated general Paul von Hindenburg, who was Field Marshall during World War I, served as second president of the Weimar Republic, and later named Adolf Hitler chancellor in 1933. An industrialist carrying weapons whispers in Hindenburg’s ear. A donkey representing the German people stands near a bloody sword and listens with big ears, yet wears blinders of ignorance. Confined and stepped on, the fearful face of a youth juxtaposed with a skeleton warns of the fate of future generations.
In the 1920s, Grosz was a leader of the politically outspoken Berlin Dada movement, which criticized authority through art. Considered a “degenerate” artist by the Nazis, he fled to the United States in 1933 in advance of World War II. Grosz lived and worked in Huntington, New York, from 1947 until shortly before his death in 1959.
Contemporary artist Amanda Valdez creates brilliantly colored, patterned, and textured abstract paintings by cutting, sewing, dyeing, painting, and embroidering canvas and other cloth. Featuring 19 paintings, including several that are among the artist’s largest, this exhibition explores Valdez’s engagement with the histories of abstraction and “women’s work” with fiber. The artist conjures surprising compositions through thoughtful use of different materials and modes of making. Her evocative forms, especially those that suggest the body, hint at visceral feelings and emotional states.
Amanda Valdez Responds
In honor of the Museum’s 100th anniversary, we asked contemporary artist Amanda Valdez to respond to artworks in our permanent collection. It is remarkable to see the historic collection through her eyes, and to see her recent paintings in connection with our nineteenth- and twentieth-century holdings.
Now in its 24th year, this exhibition features extraordinary works of art created by Long Island high school students! 388 students from 58 high schools submitted artwork for jurying this year. 100 works were selected by Karli Wurzelbacher, Heckscher Museum Curator, and guest juror Nancy Richner. (That makes this the largest Long Island’s Best ever, in honor of the Museum’s 100th Anniversary!)
For the first time, this new online format features all of the exhibition’s components, including artist statements written by each student, images of artwork from the Museum’s exhibitions that inspired students, videos about select artwork, and more!
Watch Interviews with Virtual Visitors Choice Award winners Alana Moy & Micarlys Ramirez! View Now
The LI Best Artist Meet Up on June 11 was a success! Learn more
The Heckscher Museum’s collection of sculptures by William King addresses themes at the heart of human experience. From just a few thin pieces of interlocking metal, the artist created compositions that are both playful and perilous. Two figures in Us (1996) join hands to support a child while stabilizing each other. The dynamic performers in Parasol (1996) balance risk and trust to spectacular effect. Lithe and lighthearted, Adam and Eve (1996) frolic in paradise before their fall from grace. In these sculptures, King distills the comfort, joy, and vulnerability that human connection can bring.
East Hampton artist William King (1925–2015) began making sculpture in the 1940s as a student in New York City. Over the course of seven decades, he fashioned distinctive figures from materials including wood, clay, bronze, plaster, aluminum, and cloth. King was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003 and received The International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
The Heckscher Museum of Art is pleased to present the Long Island Biennial, a juried exhibition featuring work by visual artists of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The Long Island Biennial offers Long Island’s contemporary artists an opportunity to show their work to a broad public, deepening the connections between artists and the communities in which they live.
Inaugurated in 2010, this 10-year anniversary of the Long Island Biennial coincides with The Heckscher Museum’s centennial. In honor of this milestone, we will expand this year’s Biennial to fill all four Museum galleries. Entries may be submitted in the following media: painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and mixed media.
Call for Entries! May 1 – June 30, 2020
Contact email@example.com or call 631.351.3213*
*Please leave a voicemail and Kerrilyn Blee, Assistant Curator, will return your call as soon as possible.
The Heckscher Museum of Art opened to the public 100 years ago. This expansive exhibition traces our history and points to our future by celebrating the people, events, and art that have indelibly shaped the Museum. Unfolding chronologically, the exhibition explores the development of the permanent collection from 185 paintings and sculptures in 1920, to 2,300 works in many media today. Each gallery focuses on a defining chapter in the Museum’s story: our founding in 1920 by civic leaders August and Anna Atkins Heckscher, the transformational tenure of Museum Director Eva Gatling, our pivotal role in preserving the legacies of American modernists Arthur Dove and Helen Torr, and the acquisition of hundreds of artworks from the Baker/Pisano Collection in 2001.
The exhibition weaves together masterworks, rarely exhibited objects, and archival material to illuminate the Museum’s history and to engage our audiences. Spanning the 16th century to the 21st, the checklist includes work by more than 75 artists including: Berenice Abbott, Romare Bearden, William Merritt Chase, Joseph Cornell, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Jean-Léon Gérôme, George Grosz, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, Man Ray, Thomas Moran, Georgia O’Keeffe, Howardena Pindell, and Florine Stettheimer. Reporting on the new Museum in 1921, a newspaper noted that “people come and come again to this treasure house of theirs.” We invite you to do the same as we embark together on the next 100 years.