“I’ve always thought of Burt as one of the founding fathers. His legacy affected and influenced a lot of younger gay artists and continues to do so through this day.”
Charles Leslie, co-founder of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, sat down with Brian Sands, advisor to the John Burton Harter Foundation, to share stories of the life, art, and personality of the artist J. B. Harter.
Leslie gives observations of Harter from their first meeting in New York in 1969 — the same year as the Stonewall Riots — through the Leslie-Lohman Museum arranging an exhibition including Harter’s work in 1998.
Leslie’s fondness for Harter’s art led to his editing The Drawings of J. B. Harter. The Leslie-Lohman Museum also launched a solo show of Harter’s art in 2001.
Inspired by the Leslie-Lohman, Harter had a vision to start a museum dedicated to queer art and artists in New Orleans, according to Leslie who advised Harter in getting started. The project was cut short by Harter’s death in 2002.
This interview took place at Leslie’s New York home in February 2021.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is dedicated to LGBTQ art and fostering queer discourse.
Watch on YouTube and below.