The Baltimore Museum of Art has acquired an art installation highlighting the work of the city’s health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The installation, “More Than Conquerors: A Monument for Community Health Workers in Baltimore,” is a gift from the Glenstone Museum located in Potomac. It will be on display at the BMA in 2025 as “part of a year-long initiative focused on the environment.”
“More Than Conquerors reflects the distinct quality of LaToya Ruby Frazier’s artistry and her innate ability to encapsulate stories of profound personal and communal meaning. The installation offers a poignant tribute to some of the most important but underacknowledged heroes of our community, and it is with great pride and gratitude that we are able to share that it will become part of the BMA’s collection,” Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Wagner Wallis Director, said in a press release. “We also want to extend our great appreciation to Glenstone co-founders Mitch and Emily Rales for their vision and support in helping us acquire this work for the benefit and enjoyment of our community.”
“More Than Conquerors” is a socially-distanced exhibit of portraits and related narratives that sit atop 18 stainless-steel IV poles, according to the release.
The decision behind gifting the installation to BMA is because the Glenstone Museum wanted the artwork’s proximity to be near its main audience.
“As with all monuments, the meaning of More Than Conquerors is inseparable from its location. For this reason, we were inspired to gift this work to the Baltimore Museum of Art so that the community that these workers serve would also be the primary audience for this powerful installation,” Emily Wei Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone Museum, said in a release.
The idea for the installation came from artist LaToya Ruby Frazier’s experience of “medical injustice” in trying to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the release.
Frazier’s “More Than Conquerors” won Carnegie International’s top prize in September 2022. The work also made an appearance in New York, where it was presented at the Gladstone Gallery.