Valerie Maynard with her sculpture Rufus (1961) at the BMA in 2020. Photo provided courtesy of The Valerie J. Maynard Foundation. Image by Dena Fisher.
Valerie Maynard with her sculpture Rufus (1961) at the BMA in 2020. Photo provided courtesy of The Valerie J. Maynard Foundation. Image by Dena Fisher.

The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship Honors the Artist and Supports the Next Generation of Arts Leaders

BALTIMORE, MD (November 8, 2023)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Valerie J. Maynard Foundation (VJMF) announced today the creation of a shared internship program in honor of artist Valerie J. Maynard (1937–2022). Maynard was a pioneering member of the Black Arts Movement and beloved icon of the Baltimore arts community, whose multi-decade practice engaged with the complexity of Black identity and experience. The idea for a collaborative internship with the BMA was first conceived with Maynard as a natural extension of her lifelong impact as an educator and mentor. The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship honors that legacy by supporting young professionals seeking to enter the museum field. The paid internship, which formally launched this fall, invites students to gain experience at both organizations, offering opportunities to learn practical skills in research and preservation, exhibition development, and the work of artist estates. The program also supports Baltimore’s artistic vitality—a critical goal for the BMA, Foundation, and Maynard during her lifetime.

The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship celebrates the artist’s profound impact on the development of contemporary art and continues her deep commitment to education and instruction in the arts. The inaugural cohort includes two interns selected by the Valerie J. Maynard Foundation (VJMF) from a class already engaged with the Foundation. Future interns will be selected by the BMA and VJMF through an open call and interview process. Interns will be paid a stipend for a semester of work, ensuring financial support for participating students as they gain essential professional knowledge.

“The Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship is a beautiful testament to Valerie’s unwavering audacity to dream on a grand scale. It paints a vision of a world where each person, armed with the right tools and ample support, can heal themselves and uplift the entire world,” said Antonio David Lyons, Valerie J. Maynard Foundation Board President. “The Foundation stands with immense pride as stewards of this legacy, providing a platform for young scholar-artists to immerse themselves in the life and artistry of Valerie Maynard.”

“Valerie was a singular maker and thinker. Her dynamic practice, which embraced a spectrum of artforms, was grounded in an innate right of dignity and shared humanity, with all its complexities, flaws, and aspirations. It was the BMA’s great pleasure to collaborate with Valerie on a retrospective of her work in 2020 and to engage our community with her practice and vision,” said Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “It is now our distinct honor to establish the Valerie J. Maynard Legacy Internship and to continue her life-long work in arts education, creating essential pathways for the next generation of arts innovators and leaders.”

Valerie J. Maynard

Born in Harlem, New York, Valerie J. Maynard (1937–2022) was a sculptor, printmaker, designer, and teacher. Maynard’s practice centered Black identity and experience, exploring themes of social inequity and the development of the Civil Rights Movement. As her lifelong friend Nikki Finney stated in an essay for the BMA’s 2020 exhibition catalog, Valerie Maynard: Lost and Found, “It is 1969 and Valerie Maynard is approximately 32 years old and this moment is a thin paper artifact illuminating what her work has been about and will continue to be about based on her abiding love of blackness, its familial culture, its street scriptures, its ancient African value systems that stretch unbroken across the sea.”

Maynard would become the first artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she established their printmaking workshop and was a pioneering member of the Black Arts Movement. She later moved to Baltimore, becoming an integral part of the city’s arts community. Her many public artworks include the glass mosaic installation Polyrhythmics of Consciousness and Light (2003) at the 125th Street/Lexington Avenue subway station in New York City. In 2020, the BMA opened Valerie Maynard: Lost and Found, a focused retrospective of her work that featured selected works from her landmark series No Apartheid from the 1980s and 1990s. Maynard’s work is held in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, National Art Museum of Mozambique, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition to her artistic practice, Maynard was an admired teacher, who taught at Howard University, University of the Virgin Islands, and Baltimore School for the Arts.

Valerie J. Maynard Foundation

The mission of the Valerie J. Maynard Foundation is to sustain, expand, and preserve the legacy of Valerie J. Maynard, her art, and her impact on a global scale. The Foundation supports the conservation of and promotes research and scholarship on her art, life, pedagogy, and contributions to 20th- and 21st-century art. The Foundation is also engaged in managing rights and permissions, and promoting Maynard’s work through publications and exhibitions. The Foundation maintains a collection of art and archives that facilitate research about the artist, as well as the times and places in which she lived and worked. The VJMF also nurtures the next generation of black women artists through residencies, arts education initiatives, and convenings that serve to contextualize and illuminate Maynard’s work and philosophy.

About the Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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