Tag: baltimore museum of art

Baltimost: Baltimore Museum of Art

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Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo by Ethan McLeod

Baltimore Museum of Art

With the recent opening of "Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art," Christopher Bedford begins delivering on the mission realignment he outlined for the Baltimore Museum of Art after becoming the director in 2016: to spotlight underrepresented artists sidelined by art history's account of America's postwar creative boom. "Generations" showcases the innovative ideas and pioneering work of artists such as Norman Lewis, Alma Thomas, Kevin Beasley and Lorna Simpson, and extends a critical invitation to understand how these artists responded to the same political and cultural crises that prompted people such as Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to represent the world following the global cataclysm of World War II.

"When you add to the current roster of exhibitions this fall, what you'll see is a very fulsome expression of our vision for the museum," Bedford says, alluding to current and upcoming exhibitions, which include a solo show of sculptor Melvin Edwards, a Mickalene Thomas public art commission being installed in the East Wing, and a showcase of American Women modernists.

Recharting a museum's mission is like changing the course of an ocean liner. In addition to mounting such shows as "John Waters: Indecent Exposure" and reinstalling the Contemporary Wing to put underrepresented artists back in conversation with art history, the museum sold off five works by ostensible 20th-century masters to raise funds to acquire artwork by women and artists of color.

Walking through the BMA now is a dramatically different experience than it was three years back, and the museum has only begun to turn its ideas into realities. "I would also say, and this is true on the part of the trustees and the staff, the work to achieve that vision is never done," Bedford says.

"Every season will require that amount of work, that amount of inventiveness, again and again and again, in order to reach the same bar. So ["Generations"] is both a moment of culmination and commencement. I think we're making a commitment to ourselves and to the city to keep going in exactly this way, because that's the promise I think we extended."

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BMA receives $5 million gift for a Matisse center

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Henri Matisse’s “Blue Nude (Souvenir de Biskra),” on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The Baltimore Museum of Art has received a $5 million gift to create a center to study the works of French modernist Henri Matisse, the museum announced today.

With more than 1,200 pieces, the BMA has one of the largest Matisse collections in the world, and the museum hopes the new center will serve as a resource for scholars and the general public.

Baltimore Museum of Art shows off a more diverse collection

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Wangechi Mutu’s “Water Woman.” Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

One year after selling off part of its collection in order to acquire more works by women and artists of color, the Baltimore Museum of Art is showing off some of its purchases.

Directors this week unveiled a new exhibit in the museum’s contemporary wing, entitled “Every Day: Selections from the Collection.” Running until Jan. 5, the show required a complete re-installation of the contemporary collection galleries, the first since 2012, and features works by black artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, including many of the newly acquired pieces.

An Evening of Art and Music with BMA’s Art After Hours Party

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BMA - Art After Hours

When the gallery lights go down, the party lights come up for Art After Hours, a lively series of evening events with activities, inspired by the BMA’s current exhibitions. Boost yourself with a beer & a bite, groove to music from house musician, Hans Berg, enjoy surreal games and pop-up performances and experience art in new ways.

With the closing weekend of two special exhibitions at the Museum: Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s and Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: Delights of an Undirected Mind, the BMA will be celebrating by hosting a surrealism-inspired Art After Hours Party this Friday, May 24, from 8pm – 11pm. The party will include an evening of music, art-making, drinks and lite bites and late-night access to galleries and special exhibitions. Tickets are $25 ($20 for BMA Members), for ages 21+ and can be purchased here.

The BMA Hosts Surrealism-Inspired Art After Hours this Friday, May 24

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BMA - Art After Hours

Baltimore’s best art party is back this Friday, May 24, and celebrating the closing weekend of BMA’s special exhibitions Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s and Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg / Delights of an Undirected Mind. Come to Art After Hours for an evening of drinks, music, art-making, and late-night access to galleries and special exhibitions. Tickets ($25 adult or $20 BMA Members) include free admission to Monsters & Myths (regularly $15), as well as a free drink or food item, music, art-making, and late-night access to the galleries. Purchase your tickets here and kick off your summer at the best art party.

Sex and subtext in the BMA’s ‘Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War’ exhibit

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Max Ernst’s “Europe After the Rain II.” Image courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Recognizable in the corrosive oranges and reds of “Europe After the Rain II” is the unforgiving desert landscape of Sedona, Arizona, where Max Ernst lived as a refugee for years after fleeing Nazi-occupied France. The 1942 painting, a bombed-out widescreen of radioactive rubble currently on display as part of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s “Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War” exhibition, shows two mutated figures standing among a heap of coral-colored, crushed bones and gazing off into the horizon, frozen by the impossibility–and necessity–of imagining a future.

War is an insistent presence in the exhibit, which frames Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Andre Masson and Ernst as interpreters of a violent century, unable to forget what they saw. But it’s far from the only one. There’s also sadomasochism, cybernetic anxieties and at least one castration fantasy embedded in this slice of the surrealist canon, most of which flies under the radar of the BMA’s cataloging.

‘John Waters: Indecent Exposure’ highlights the auteur’s intellectual savvy

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Image courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

She Shoulda Said ‘No!’ was a 1949 exploitation film in the “Reefer Madness” mold, designed to warn red-blooded, young Americans about the moral rot, social deviancy and sexual degeneracy that comes with using drugs. In it, a young woman’s experiments with weed lead her into a wayward spiral of selling drugs, losing her job and promiscuity, her moral downfall pushing her brother to suicide. Only after cleaning up in jail and collaborating with authorities can she right her way in life.

Event Pick: Amy Sherald discusses her portraiture at the BMA tonight

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Thelma Golden, left, and Amy Sherald. Image via the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Local artist Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama attracted admirers and strong critics soon after it was unveiled. The latter group complained the portrait didn’t really look like the former first lady. But criticism is subjective, and the general public has been voting with its feet: In February, the National Portrait Gallery reported attendance was up 300 percent, with lines as long as 90 minutes to see the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama.

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