BALTIMORE, MD (September 28, 2015)—The Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) enormously successful Campaign for Art has secured more than 4,000 objects during the past decade in honor of the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2014. These gifts have joined the museum’s renowned collection—now 95,000 objects—most of which came from generous donors in this community like Claribel and Etta Cone, Jacob Epstein, and Saidie A. May. To celebrate these new gifts and their donors, the BMA is presenting a series of New Arrivals exhibitions and installations in nearly every area of the museum from September 2015 through May 2016.

“We are deeply honored by the generosity of so many donors who have given works of art to the BMA,” said Interim Co-Director Jay Fisher. “It’s exciting to see so many areas of the collection transformed by these gifts and we look forward to sharing them with our visitors.”

The New Arrivals series highlights the strengths of the BMA’s collection, including its already superlative holdings of works by Henri Matisse. The series launches with two exhibitions of contemporary photographs on view September 30, 2015 – March 20 & 27, 2016. These exhibitions are followed by a contemplative video by contemporary artist Joachim Koester (October 28, 2015 – March 6, 2016), a selection of prints and drawings by Henri Matisse (December 9, 2015 –July 3, 2016), and a stunning array of art quilts (December 16, 2015 –June 19, 2016).

The series culminates with New Arrivals: Gifts of Art for a New Century, opening February 7, 2016. Featuring approximately 200 artworks by artists such as Pierre Bonnard and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, the exhibition juxtaposes recent acquisitions with complementary works already in the collection. It is accompanied by an adjacent display of newly acquired artworks by Maryland-based artists. Both are on view through May 8, 2016.

Descriptions of each New Arrivals exhibition follows:

New Arrivals: Photographs from the O’Neil Collection
September 30, 2015 – March 27, 2016

This exhibition features approximately 18 color and black-and-white photographs that were part of a major gift from Baltimore collectors Tom and Nancy O’Neil, who have collected 20th- and 21st-century photography for more than two decades. Works by contemporary masters and new talents such as Dawoud Bey, Richard Misrach, and Abelardo Morell demonstrate the O’Neil’s interest in images that speak to today’s landscape and environmental issues, as well as portraits that offer sensitive studies of the human experience.

The exhibition is curated by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman.

New Arrivals: Late 20th-Century Photographs from Russia & Belarus
September 30, 2015 – March 20, 2016
More than 20 photographs by Russian and Belarusian artists capture once-powerful symbols of the eroding Soviet State. These works came to the BMA from Brenda Edelson, who served as the museum’s Program Director from 1973-85 and oversaw the BMA’s Downtown Gallery, the first satellite gallery in the country. Most of the works date to the 1980s when the Soviet Union was increasingly opening up to the West. Highlights of the exhibition include Sergey Kozhemyakin’s Transformation of the Image (1990), a series of four gelatin silver prints that are scratched and darkened until the image—a statue of Lenin—is rendered unrecognizable. Other artists drew inspiration for their work from everyday experiences. Boris Savelev’s image depicts a woman sitting outside in a box-car like device that was hoisted up so she could paint the exterior walls of The State Hermitage Museum, while Alexander Slyusarev’s Snow on Steps (1980) is an abstract view of snowballs thrown against a dark, graffiti-covered wall.

The exhibition is curated by Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Rena Hoisington.

New Arrivals: Joachim Koester
October 28, 2015 – March 6, 2016
This 3-minute 16mm film was inspired by a hot air balloon expedition led by researcher Salomon August Andrée, who left Norway to journey across the North Pole in 1897. Thirty-three years later, the explorers’ remains were found with a box of negatives that told the story of a crash and an ill-fated three-month trek across the ice. For his film, Message from Andrée, Danish artist Joachim Koester photographed the negatives filled with black stains, scratches, and streaks of light; those often ignored by historians. The film—a promised gift from BMA National Trustee Monroe Denton—evokes memories of the tragically optimistic explorers, the forces of time and severe weather conditions physically acting on the film, and the power of photography to reveal otherwise lost moments. Two accompanying lithographs provide additional context about Andrée’s story.

The exhibition is curated by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman.

New Arrivals: Matisse Prints & Drawings
December 9, 2015 – July 3, 2016
Approximately 20 prints and drawings demonstrate the continuing legacy of the BMA’s relationship with members of the Matisse family. Etta and Claribel Cone’s dedication to collecting the art of Henri Matisse established at the BMA one of the most comprehensive collections of the artist’s work. The close personal relationship between the artist and the Cone sisters provided the opportunity to acquire key works from the late 20s and early 30s while encouraging Etta Cone to collect all aspects of the artist’s work—painting, sculpture, and graphic arts.

Recognizing the unique character of the BMA’s Matisse collection, recent gifts from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation and other family members have now established the BMA’s holdings as the most comprehensive collection of Matisse prints in North America. The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation in New York made a promised gift of an impressive group of prints from the artist’s later years. A major gift from the collection of Marguerite Matisse Duthuit included prints, as well as remarkable drawings related to a masterwork from the Cone Collection, The Yellow Dress.

The exhibition is curated by Interim Co-Director Jay Fisher.

New Arrivals: Art Quilts
December 16, 2015 – June 19, 2016
Among the many recent additions to the BMA’s late 20th-century textile collection are five spectacular quilts created by artists who abandoned their original media in order to express themselves with cloth and thread. These intricate art quilts include Metamorphosis (1983), a stunning example that plays with color transitions and the illusions of space example by Michael James, and #76 (1988), an elaborately pieced and painted quilt by Pamela Studstill that is accompanied by the original commission drawing and fabric swatches.

Quilts by Baltimore artists Elizabeth Scott and Adrien Rothschild include Scott’s Plantation (1980), an abstract depiction of both the night sky and the furrowed earth as remembered from her childhood in South Carolina. Rothschild was influenced by the paintings of her mother, Amalie Rothschild, and the work of M.C. Escher to create Purple Mountains (1991), an abstractly pictorial quilt that synthesizes her love of color and geometric design. Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade challenge the traditional definition of quilts by blending architectural and textile elements for their Marsh Island (1986) triptych composed of painted plywood panels surrounding dye-painted and quilted cloth insets.

The exhibition is curated by Curator of Textiles Anita Jones.

New Arrivals: Gifts of Art for a New Century
February 7, 2016 – May 8, 2016

The culmination of the New Arrivals series is a major exhibition of approximately 200 artworks that juxtapose recent acquisitions with complementary works already in the collection. Examples include two paintings by the French Post-Impressionist Pierre Bonnard depicting the same basket of fruit from two different perspectives and a rare pair of late 18th-century demi-lune sideboards—one came into the BMA in 1972 and its mate was acquired 35 years later. A new gift of a c. 1800 Japanese table screen with a view of a New Year’s scene is joined by a mid-19th-century Japanese color woodcut triptych of a lavish interior scene with figures.

Some of the new acquisitions are presented as a group such as four impressions of Nocturne, a magnificent 1879 etching by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, each demonstrating how the artist achieved very different effects through variant inking of his plates. Other ensembles include four hats created by artists in the Cameroon region of African and eight miniature bronze animals by Antoine-Louis Barye. A few singular objects like René Magritte’s enormous bronze Delusions of Grandeur (1967) stand by themselves.

The exhibition is curated by Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Rena Hoisington.

New Arrivals: Maryland Artists
February 7, 2016 – May 8, 2016
The BMA’s growing collection of works by Maryland-based artists is celebrated in this exhibition of approximately 20 recently acquired artworks. Examples include a painting by Raoul Middleman, a photograph by John Waters, a series of photographs by Elinor B. Cahn, and several turn-of-the-century prints of Baltimore by Gabrielle DeVaux  Clements.

The exhibition is curated by Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Rena Hoisington.

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.

Download PDF

Press Contacts

For media in Baltimore:

Anne Brown
Baltimore Museum of Art
Senior Director of Communications

Sarah Pedroni
Baltimore Museum of Art
Communications Manager

For media outside Baltimore:

Alina Sumajin
PAVE Communications