Leon Waller

Leon Waller


I was born in King William County Virginia in 1949. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1975 with a B.S. Degree in Education, and my primary interest was art and museum education. My first museum work was as a tour guide at The Valentine Museum, and that was followed by The Virginia Museum of Fine Art, where I got involved in theater and dance through the Museum's education department. In the mid-70s, I moved to New York City and had an era working at The Strand Book Store, followed by a position as Education Associate at NYC Board of Education, where I conducted youth employment and training workshops for teenagers.

I returned to my museum work in 1983, when I joined the startup staff of The Center for African Art, that opened to the public in1984. I assisted with the grand opening and then served there in various capacities, including education, for 4 years. That was followed by 8 years as an Educator and intern coordinator at The Brooklyn Museum, a 2-year return to my previous employer, now Museum for African Art, as Director of Education, and then another 10 years at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum where I served as Senior Project Developer for the Collections Department.

Alongside my museum work I have served as an Adjunct Instructor at Parsons School of Design, The New School, and at New York City College of Technology. I also served as a Smithsonian Institution Lecturer for a Smithsonian/Crystal Cruise Line 3-week journey up the Atlantic African coast from Cape Town to Las Palmas in 2001. I am also a writer and was honored to have provided the libretto to Stephen Cronin’s song cycle "House Songs" which won the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize in Australia in 1991.

The visual arts have always had an important place of my life. My art making has both inspired and been inspired by my years working in museums, in education, and through stories and storytelling. I am happy that my work is in the permanent collections of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York University, and the National Urban League, as well as the collections of several other public and corporate institutions, and many private collections. I am particularly grateful to those individuals who have followed the development of my work over the years, and have supported, critiqued and encouraged me. The journey continues.

The Water (in) Place Exhibition NYC

Other Works

Larger Works

Small Works/ Birds

Medium Works