When the Baltimore Museum of Art revamped its American Wing, it changed almost everything about how the art is presented. Used to be, paintings hung with paintings, and sculptures stood with sculptures, and so on. But in the course of a $7.9 million renovation, curators employed a variety of approaches to installation that lend narrative, chronological, and geographical contexts to the works. The American Wing opens officially to the public this Sunday, November 23 with a celebration from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In general, the museum opted for a chronological approach that better demonstrates how a given art piece fits into broader trends. The new labels give the geographical background of the artist and the work, and one can’t help but realize that ‘American’ art can’t be considered outside of its international influence.
But one of the coolest thing this renovation does — besides finally reopen the museums magnificent main entrance! — is install fine art pieces and domestic objects together, transporting the viewer out of the inherently sterile venue of a museum into a home, however idealized that home might be.
To get a sense of some of the structural aspects of the renovation, get thee to the BMA — or, read this July article by Pigtown Design’s Meg Fielding.
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