Leigh Ledare

Henry Wolf Chair in Photography

Leigh Ledare (born 1976, Seattle, WA) earned an MFA from Columbia University in 2008. Working with photography, film, sculpture and writing, Ledare’s fundamentally collaborative projects map psychosocial relations in order to examine the complex dynamics that bind individuals, as well as the relationship between artist, subject and viewer. Ledare has had recent solo exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago (2017); The Box, Los Angeles (2017); Office Baroque, Brussels (2016); Mitchell-Innes and Nash, New York (2014); Kunsthal Charlottenberg, Copenhagen (2013); WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2013); among others. His works have also appeared in numerous group exhibitions including: The Whitney Biennial (2017); Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016); and Greater New York, PS1/MoMA (2010). He has taught at Yale University; Columbia University; New York University; and Calarts. Ledare is a 2017 Guggenheim Foundation fellow.




  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.