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Installation view, Now Is the Time: Recent Acquisitions to the Contemporary Collection. Photo by Mitro Hood.

Now Is The Time: Recent Acquisitions to the Contemporary Collection

Overview

In 2018, the BMA deaccessioned seven artworks from its contemporary holdings to create an acquisition fund for purchases of works by artists underrepresented in its collection and within broader art historical narratives.

Twenty-two of the 125 works acquired through the fund in the past three years are on view in Now Is The Time. Coupled with several extraordinary gifts the Museum has received, the exhibition offers an insightful snapshot of the BMA’s curatorial effort, led by Asma Naeem, Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator, and Katy Siegel, Senior Programming and Research Curator and Thaw Chair of Modern Art at Stony Brook University, to identify artists deserving of greater scholarly research and public attention, placing the highest priority on those artists who are also women, Black, Indigenous, self-trained, and/or have connections to Baltimore.

This includes established figures such as Betye Saar, Valerie Maynard, Benny Andrews, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, and Virginia Jaramillo alongside emerging voices such as Firelei Báez, Laura Ortman, Jerrell Gibbs, and Theresa Chromati, creating dialogues across generations. The exhibition also captures an expansive range of approaches to making, developed through both self-taught and academic training with examples by artists Beverly Buchanan, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Thornton Dial, Fred Eversley, Ficre Ghebreyesus, Lonnie Holley, and Suzanne Jackson, among others.

Visual displays and descriptions presented within the gallery explore the history of collecting at the BMA from different perspectives.

Curated by Christopher Bedford, Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, Asma Naeem, Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator, and Katy Siegel, Senior Programming and Research Curator and Thaw Chair of Modern Art at Stony Brook University.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Suzanne F. Cohen Exhibition Fund, BGE, PNC Foundation, Lorayne and Jim Thornton, Harris Jones & Malone, LLC, and Sheela Murthy/ MurthyNAYAK Foundation.