The Renovation

Rendering of BMA renovated entrances.

Rendering of BMA renovated entrances.

We’ve rethought how visitors experience the BMA's world-class collection— from arrival to departure—during our unprecedented $28 million renovation. New curatorial research, fresh perspectives, innovative technologies, and thoughtful design are at the heart of the ambitious project scheduled for completion in fall 2015.

The landmark transformation features:

  • powerful new presentations of the Museum's outstanding American, African, Asian, and Contemporary art collections
  • the reopening of the 1929 Merrick Entrance, establishing the Museum’s terrace steps as a vibrant gathering place
  • a 5,500 square-foot learning and creativity center with an interactive exhibition gallery and art-making spaces
  • a dramatic overhaul of the East Wing Lobby and Zamoiski Entrance, including the BMA Shop.

Contemporary Wing

The transformed Contemporary Wing.

Contemporary Wing

Opened November 2012.

The transformed Contemporary Wing features more than 100 paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, and moving image works in revitalized galleries that create thought-provoking encounters with contemporary art.

Masterfully lit under new state-of-the-art lighting, the new arrangement of the collection showcases celebrated masterworks by Olafur Eliasson, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Franz West, and other eminent artists alongside thrilling new acquisitions from 21st-century artists such as Guyton\Walker, Josephine Meckseper, Sarah Sze, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing

The stunning new presentation of the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing.

Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing

Opened in conjunction with the Museum's 100th anniversary celebration in fall 2014.

Housed in what is considered the BMA’s largest work of art—the central building designed by John Russell Pope- nine adjacent galleries feature a new presentation of its outstanding collection of American art, considered one of the finest on the East Coast. Explore new facets of American art, history, and culture through more than 800 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 18th-to-20th century. See Maryland’s influence in art, architecture, decoration, and collecting. And witness one especially breathtaking moment in the collection with the stunning stained-glass and silver of Louis Comfort Tiffany, his colleagues, and competitors, who achieved commercial and critical success during the glamorous late-19th century.

The dramatically renovated galleries feature state-of-the-art lighting, new herringbone wood floors, a new palette of colors for the walls, and many other improvements that bring forth John Russell Pope's neoclassical architecture.

Merrick Historic Entrance

The BMA’s grand front entrance is open again.

Merrick Historic Entrance

Opened in conjunction with the Museum's 100th anniversary celebration in fall 2014.

The BMA’s grand front entrance is open again after 32 years. Designed by John Russell Pope, the historic doors ushered generations of visitors into the Museum from 1929 to 1982. The original entrance creates a welcoming and memorable art experience for visitors, with the terrace steps leading up to the historic threshold serving as a vibrant gathering place for visitors and the Baltimore community.

Zamoiski East Entrance.

The light-filled Zamoiski East Entrance.

Zamoiski East Entrance

Opened in conjunction with the Museum's 100th anniversary celebration in fall 2014.

Bright and airy, elegant and contemporary—the transformed east entrance is an open and expansive central gathering place for visitors. Improvements include relocating the main stairs to create a more inviting pathway to the second floor galleries, erecting a gracefully curved wall to delineate the new BMA Shop, and refurbishing all lobby surfaces with modern materials and finishes. New amenities include benches and seating fabricated by a local woodworker, new signage, a more easily accessible elevator, and more restrooms. New finishes give the lobby a modern, yet timeless quality.

The new African art galleries opened April 26, 2015

The new African art galleries.

African Art Galleries

Reopened April 26, 2015

The gallery for the BMA’s African art collection has been expanded to more than three times its former size and relocated to the center of the Museum’s first floor for the new reinstallation of the African Art Galleries. More than 100 objects, many large-scale, will address the impact of region, history, and culture on African art traditions.

The BMA has one of the earliest and most important collections of African art on the East Coast, thanks to a transformative gift of 125 African objects from Alan and Janet Wurtzburger. Today, the BMA holds more than 2,100 objects from ancient Egypt to contemporary Zimbabwe. Several of these objects, such as the majestic Great Mother Headdress (D'mba) from the Baga region of Guinea, are considered the best of their kind.

The new Asian art galleries

The new Asian art galleries showcase 1,000 years of innovation.

Asian Art Galleries

Reopened April 26, 2015

Doubling the space devoted to the Asian art collection, two renovated galleries will feature approximately 150 works, including the BMA's renowned Chinese high-fired ceramics—representing 1,000 years of innovation from the 9th through the 19th centuries, and a variety of works that show the importance of the temple and the tomb in Chinese artistic tradition.

The Center for People & Art opens October 25, 2015.

Installation view rendering of Imagining Home.

Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center

Opened October 25, 2015

This new area of the museum connects visitors with art, creativity, and community through an innovative thematic exhibition, Imagining Home; an art-making studio; and a variety of programs and partnerships with Baltimore artists and non-profit organizations:

  • Imagining Home: This extraordinary exhibition presents more than 30 artworks in a lively space that incorporates video, audio, and other interactive elements. The artworks represent different ideas and aspects about home. Nearly every area of the BMA’s collection is represented, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, textiles, prints, and photographs with works from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as four of the museum’s popular miniature rooms. Each object reveals something about the social and cultural values, history, economics, and religious beliefs of their makers, owners, and users.
  • Commons: This space reflects the voices and creativity of Baltimore. The Commons also hosts Open Hours on the third Saturday of the month. These events are organized by anyone who wants to propose an activity connected to the theme of home that promotes a sense of sharing and exchange. Additionally, visitors are invited to write on a postcard to be sent to another visitor and submit their mailing address to receive a postcard from someone else.
  • Studio: This vibrant space for hands-on experiences evokes a contemporary artist’s studio and encourages invention and artistic expression for visitors of all ages. The BMA’s popular Free Family Sundays program will continue here with a month of workshops on the theme of home.
  • School Group Entrance: The entrance will provide school children with a warm welcome and orientation as they begin their museum visit.
  • Docent Room: The Docent Room will have art resources, materials for tours, and dedicated space for research, study, and collaboration.

If you would like to learn more about the Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center, please contact Ellen Gottfried at 443-573-1816.


The BMA is extremely grateful for the public support and private donations that continue to make the renovation possible. The project is funded in part by $11.25 million in capital contributions from the State of Maryland; $2.95 million from the City of Baltimore; and $21.5 million to date in contributions to In a New Light: The Campaign for The Baltimore Museum of Art.

We need your continued support to reach our fundraising goals and help the BMA thrive in its next 100 years. Consider giving today.

Project Team

Baltimore-based architecture firm Ziger/Snead is the architect for the 2014-2015 renovations. Whiting-Turner Contracting Company of Towson, Maryland, is leading construction efforts, and the project manager is Synthesis, Inc., of Columbia, Maryland.