Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the Baltimore Museum of Art is home to 97,000 works, spanning the art of ancient Egypt to some of the most significant works of today.
The BMA has a history of collecting art that responds to the present moment, including pivotal gifts from Baltimore’s Cone sisters, whose acquisitions from living artists encouraged the Museum’s commitment to contemporary art. Our curatorial team continues this long tradition, creating new ways to interpret art history and acquiring artworks that tell the rich and varied stories of our community.
Our internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art includes the largest holding of Henri Matisse’s works in a public institution, alongside important examples of artistic expression from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands.
We’re a collection of collections. Highlights include:
- Works from more than 200 African states and societies, in a range of media, from headdresses, masks, textiles, and paintings to jewelry, ceremonial weapons, works on paper, and pottery.
- More than 3,200 objects from China, Japan, India, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and the Near East with a focus on Chinese ceramics.
- Modern art masterpieces from the internationally renowned Cone Collection from Baltimore sisters Claribel and Etta Cone. In the early 20th century, the Cone sisters visited the Paris studios of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and began amassing a collection of approximately 3,000 objects, including over 600 works by Matisse, which were displayed in their Baltimore apartments prior to coming to the Museum.
- Twenty-eight mosaic pavements from Antioch on view that tell the story of this ancient city prior to its destruction by catastrophic earthquakes in 526 and 528 A.D.
- Works representing 56 artistic traditions from the Ancient Americas, including the widely recognized Aztec and Maya of Mesoamerica, Nasca and Moche of Andean South America, and Nicoya and Atlantic Watershed of Costa Rica.
- A collection of over 1,000 artworks from Native North America that includes highlights such as Plains beadwork, Arctic carved ivories, Navajo textiles, and world-renowned fiber arts from the Washoe, Akimel O’odham (Pima), Apache, and Pomo tribes.
- An encyclopedic collection of Oceanic artworks, ranging from Hawaiian jewelry to masks from today’s Papua New Guinea.
- American painting, sculpture, silver, and decorative arts, featuring colonial-era portraiture, important examples of Baltimore painted furniture, stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany, modernist painting, and 20th-century design.
- Coptic textiles, Baltimore Album Quilts, and 18th-20th century printed textiles.
- A collection of 15th-through 19th-century European art that includes masterworks of northern European and French art, and Medieval and Renaissance works.
- The Woodward Collection of British sporting art featuring 52 paintings of horses and racing scenes, as well as silver and gold racing trophies. For more than 40 years, William Woodward owned one of the nation’s most successful breeding and racing stables, which were located in Maryland.