New sculpture exhibit, Wrought Taxonomies, opens at the Vanderbilt Museum

New sculpture exhibit, Wrought Taxonomies, opens at the Vanderbilt Museum

On Earth Day, April 22, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport debuted Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies, the first exhibition of outdoor sculpture at the historic summer estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II. The show runs through April 22, 2024.

Klemperer’s sculptures — a haunting assemblage of animal forms that span imaginary, endangered, familiar, and exotic species — celebrate natural history and the nonhuman world through evocative interactions with the surrounding environment. A total of 32 outdoor sculptures are displayed throughout the property along with several ink drawings in the Lancaster Gallery inside the mansion.

Using materials salvaged from scrapyards, the artist composes ecological narratives that respond to the history and collections of Suffolk County’s first public park and museum. Her brilliant use of gestural lines captures the spectator’s attention and invites museumgoers to reflect on the relationship between an interest in animal life and the incessant push of human industry.

Made possible due to the generous support of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Wrought Taxonomies is the inaugural exhibition in the Vanderbilt Museum’s outdoor sculpture program and the institution’s second exhibition of contemporary art focused on the relationship between culture and animals.

The Vanderbilt Museum occupies the former Gold Coast estate of William Kissam Vanderbilt II, the great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and a pioneer of American motorsport. Located in Centerport on the north shore of Long Island, it is renowned for its extensive marine and natural history collections, Spanish revival architecture, and picturesque parklands.

“The museum is delighted that its first outdoor exhibition features the works of Wendy Klemperer, an artist renowned for her profound interest in conservation and singular interpretation of the natural world,” said Elizabeth Wayland-Morgan, Executive Director of the Vanderbilt.

“This exhibition is an ideal thematic fit – the museum has shared a similar passion for conservation and the appreciation of nature since its creation. The Vanderbilt estate, with its stunning waterfront landscape, provides a perfect setting for Klemperer’s dynamic, large-scale works. Her striking pieces offer a thought-provoking and enlightening experience for all.,” she said.

All sculptures are viewable with general admission to the Museum grounds. Educational programs and workshops associated with themes and content of Wendy Klemperer: Wrought Taxonomies will be offered throughout the exhibition. .

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is located at 180 Little Neck Road in Centerport. Museum and planetarium hours are currently Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The planetarium also offers shows on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 and 9 p.m. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit