After more than 30 years, the BMA will reopen next year the historic entrance for visitors beginning on November 23, 2014, in celebration of the museum’s 100th anniversary. The landmark event will also herald the reopening of the renovated Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing and a new presentation of the BMA’s outstanding collection of American fine and decorative arts, considered one of the finest on the East Coast. A dramatically redesigned East Wing Lobby and Zamoiski Entrance will reopen in fall 2014 as well.
The grand reopening is a significant milestone in the BMA’s $28 million renovation to provide visitors with a more welcoming environment and more imaginative and inspiring encounters with art. The first phase of the BMA’s ambitious multi-year renovation was realized when the Contemporary Wing reopened in November 2012. Since then, more than 92,000 people have visited the wing to see the museum’s significant collection of contemporary art and a series of focus exhibitions, installations, and programs highlighting works by Sarah Oppenheimer, Raqs Media Collective, Jimmy Joe Roche, An-My Lê, and others.
“The reopening of the BMA’s historic Merrick Entrance and the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing will be an extraordinary moment in the museum’s distinguished history—bringing together museum-goers of all ages to experience John Russell Pope’s first vision of a great public art museum,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. “We are looking forward to celebrating the BMA’s 100th anniversary with many new and exciting experiences for our visitors.”
The BMA was founded on November 16, 1914 with one painting, but no place to display it. Today, the museum hold a collection of 90,000 works of art in 200,000 square-feet of building space and a nearly three-acre sculpture garden. The BMA will commemorate its 100th anniversary with a black-tie gala on November 15, special preview events for museum members November 20-22, and a community-wide opening day celebration on November 23.
The final phase of the multi-year project will be completed with the reinstallation of the African and Asian art collections and the opening of a new center for learning and creativity in 2015.
The grand entrance to the building designed by the great American architect John Russell Pope ushered generations of visitors into the museum from 1929 to 1982, and the reopening of this historic threshold reflects the BMA’s goal to foster more welcoming and memorable art experiences. The terrace steps leading up to the entrance will serve as a vibrant gathering place for visitors and the Baltimore community. The elegant façade is being conserved and will have improved lighting. The existing doors and vestibule will remain unchanged. A special $1 million gift from the France-Merrick Foundation is supporting this area of the renovation.
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