The BMA’s contemporary collection includes an increasingly diverse array of local, national, and internationally acclaimed artists.

Rashid Johnson. Fatherhood. 2015. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of the Artist; and purchased as the gift of Jeffrey and Shari Aronson, Peter Marino Charitable Foundation, Thomas Wilhelmsen, and an Anonymous Donor, BMA 2021.166. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth © Rashid Johnson

New Installation

The Contemporary Wing reopened on November 14th, featuring a new presentation that asks, ‘How do we know the world?’ Each gallery in the reinstallation explores a different way to answer this question.

This major reappraisal of the Contemporary collection builds on the Museum’s ongoing efforts to embrace an expansive range of voices and narratives within its holdings.

Nine galleries featuring 56 objects focus on the way artists engage with the historic, social, political, and environmental constructs that shape our world, capturing stories of personal and communal relevance. The presentation departs from the focus on chronology and the evolution of style typically found in presentations of museum collections. In this way, the new Contemporary wing offers visitors a more meaningful way to experience and connect with the art on view by emphasizing how artists observe, understand, and respond to our shared everyday circumstances.

This exhibition is supported by Transamerica, Michael Sherman and Carrie Tivador, the Suzanne F. Cohen Exhibition Fund, and The Dorman/Mazaroff Contemporary Endowment Fund.

TransAmerica logo, top of skyscraper

Collection Overview

Since its founding in 1914, the BMA has collected and exhibited the art of its time, resulting in major examples of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Conceptual art, and Pop art alongside that of emerging talent.

Informed by the BMA’s core values of equity, diversity, and justice adopted in 2018, the Museum has recently acquired an impressive array of contemporary works by artists historically overlooked: works by artists who are Black, women, self-trained, Indigenous, and/or connected to Baltimore.

The BMA’s collection will continue to evolve to represent more fully and deeply the spectrum of individuals that have shaped the trajectory of art.

Now Is The Time: Recent Acquisitions to the Contemporary Collection

In 2018, the BMA sold seven works of art to fund new acquisitions that would address gaps in the contemporary collection. Many of the 28 works on view in Now Is The Time were acquired by the BMA using proceeds from that sale to present a more equitable art history. Data analysis throughout the exhibition reflects on the history of the contemporary collection from different perspectives.

Every Day: Selections from the Collection

In 2019, the BMA presented the first reinstallation of its contemporary collection centered on black artistic imagination. The exhibition featured nearly 50 works of painting, sculpture, video, printmaking, and photography from the BMA's permanent collection, alongside a group of loans primarily from the celebrated Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection.