Current Exhibitions

Image: Isaac Julien. Baltimore. 2003. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., BMA 2018.83. © Isaac Julien. Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro Gallery, and Metro Pictures, New York. Photography by Werner Maschmann.

Isaac Julien: Baltimore

Through January 5, 2020

Baltimore unfolds across three videos as a narrative of two people, filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles and an Afro-Cyborg woman embodied by Vanessa Myrie, making their way through significant cultural sites of the city. The pair traverses the Walters Art Museum, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, and the George Peabody Library. Each institution lays a different claim to history—whether the over 5,000 years of art held at the Walters; diverse figures of black historical personalities, from Egyptian queens to formerly enslaved people, all rendered in wax; or the holdings of the Peabody, a library that supports the first research university in the U.S. The work explores the many ways that history is made, documented, silenced, or foretold, and indicates the artist’s deep concern for the construction of an archive. Julien seeks to create a “third dimension,” a space that draws from Afro-futurism and the past, present, and future of black culture in the U.S.

Installation view, Every Day: Selections from the Collection

Every Day: Selections from the Collection

Through January 5, 2020

Every Day: Selections from the Collection is the BMA’s first reinstallation of its contemporary collection centered on black artistic imagination. Nearly 50 works of painting, sculpture, video, printmaking, and photography from the BMA’s permanent collection, alongside a select group of loans primarily from the celebrated Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection, foreground the critical contributions black artists have made to postwar visual art.

This exhibition is generously supported by Anne L. Stone, PNC Foundation, Lois B. Feinblatt, Patricia Lasher and Richard Jacobs, Mary and James Miller, and Mr. and Mrs. James D. Thornton.

Oletha DeVane. Epiphany. 2018. Collection of the artist. © Oletha DeVane. Photography by Mitro Hood

Oletha DeVane: Traces of the Spirit

Through October 20, 2019

Projected lights, sounds, and reflective surfaces convey a sense of flowing water in Oletha DeVane’s installation, Traces of the Spirit, presented inside the BMA’s Spring House. The exhibition references the building’s past as a dairy and place where enslaved people were forced to labor and creates an altar-like location for a selection of the artist’s spirit sculptures. For these totem-like objects, DeVane (American, b. 1950) adorns hollow glass vessels with pieces from her collection of found objects such as beads, wood, mirrors, plastic figurines, sequins, fabric, and even bullet casings. These elements are applied in conjunction, at times, with small, expressive clay heads shaped by the artist, giving voice and life to the sculptures. DeVane draws upon spiritual and African diasporic traditions to reference stories, prayers, and myths. Snakes, birds, saints, and mermaids populate the dense surfaces. The resulting works evoke the possibilities of spiritual communication and transformation.

Please note: The Spring House closes during inclement weather. Call 443-573-1700 on the day of your visit for more information.

Chandra McCormick. Men Going to Work in the Fields of Angola, 2004. Archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist. © Chandra McCormick

Slavery, The Prison Industrial Complex: Photographs by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick

Through October 27, 2019

For more than 30 years, New Orleans-natives Keith Calhoun (b. 1955) and Chandra McCormick (b. 1957) have been documenting life in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Known as “The Farm,” the prison was founded on the consolidated land of several cotton and sugarcane plantations. Slavery, The Prison Industrial Complex includes poignant photographs and videos that record the exploitation of men incarcerated in the maximum-security prison farm while also showcasing their humanity and individual narratives. The exhibition sheds light on the cracks within our country’s criminal justice system and restores visibility to a population often forgotten by the public at large. The artists’ intimate understanding of prison culture and the importance of intervention before incarceration has prompted them to advocate on behalf of individuals directly involved with correctional facilities as well as in their own New Orleans community, where they teach photography to at-risk youth.

Join us on September 5 for a panel discussion on mass incarceration with the artists and prison reform advocates.

Elizabeth Talford Scott. Plantation. 1980. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Collectors Circle Fund for Art by African Americans, Baltimore Appliqué Society Fund, and purchased as the gift of the Joshua Johnson Council, and Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Greif, Jr., Lutherville, Maryland, BMA 2012.226. © Estate of Elizabeth Talford Scott

Hitching Their Dreams to Untamed Stars: Joyce J. Scott & Elizabeth Talford Scott

Through December 1, 2019

MacArthur award-winning artist and Baltimore icon Joyce J. Scott’s earliest art lessons were at the knee of her mother, the renowned fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. The eldest Scott passed down to her daughter knowledge inherited from generations of craftspeople in their family who had honed their expertise and persisted in their artistry through the extreme deprivations of slavery and its aftermath in sharecropping, migration, and segregation. “They couldn’t buy things,” Joyce J. Scott recounts, “so they made things. And they wouldn’t just make something, they’d make something beautiful.”

This exhibition is generously sponsored by John Meyerhoff, M.D., and Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff, Clair Zamoiski Segal, the Estate of Margaret Hammond Cooke, and the Jean and Allan Berman Textile Endowment Fund. Special thanks to Joyce J. Scott and Goya Contemporary, Baltimore.

Claude Monet . Charing Cross Bridge, Reflections on the Thames. 1899-1904. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Helen and Abram Eisenberg Collection, BMA 1945.94

Expressions of Nature: Early 20th-Century Landscapes

Through September 22, 2019

From a charcoal drawing and spare and subtle watercolors to thickly painted bold explorations of color and form on canvas, this exhibition explores how a selection of European and American artists from the BMA’s collection depicted nature in the early 20th century.

Claude Monet . Charing Cross Bridge, Reflections on the Thames. 1899-1904. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Helen and Abram Eisenberg Collection, BMA 1945.94

Kómó Society Helmet Mask (Kómókum). Manding or Miniakna peoples (Mali or Guinea). Early 20th century.

Subverting Beauty: African Anti-Aesthetics

Through November 17, 2019

This exhibition features approximately two dozen works from sub-Saharan African’s colonial period (c.1880-c. 1960) that are accumulative, composite, crude, counterintuitive, and disproportionate. More importantly still, it explores the reasons why artists working during this turbulent period in the continent’s history turned against beauty in order to express the meaning and vitality of their day-to-day existence.

Installation view, Henry Moore and the Pre-Columbian Past. Henry Moore. _The Three Rings_. 1966. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Ryda and Robert H. Levi, Baltimore, BMA 1987.225. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS /

Henry Moore and The Pre-Columbian Past

Through June 28, 2020

In 1921, a young Henry Moore (British, 1898-1986) walked through the doors of the British Museum and encountered the stone carvings of ancient America for the first time. Moore was attracted to what he called the “stoniness” of the artworks, their “truth to material,” and sought to emulate this in his own work. As an art student in the early 1920s, he obsessively sketched hundreds of these works to learn how to approach three-dimensional form.

Installation View, Henry Moore and the Pre-Columbian Past. Henry Moore. _The Three Rings_. 1966. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Ryda and Robert H. Levi, Baltimore, BMA 1987.225. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS /

DIS | A Good Crisis

Through November 17, 2019

Commissioned by the BMA, the New York-based collective, DIS, debuts a video series on the wide-reaching impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

DIS. A Good Crisis. 2018. Courtesy of DIS

Commons Collaboration: Get Your Life!

Through November 17, 2019

Get Your Life! (GYL!) is a youth-led production company that creates collaborative video projects between middle school students, practicing artists, and institutions. This exhibition gathers works from across GYL!’s practice, presenting video series, costumes, props, and documents.

Get Your Life!, Still from Life As Hollywood, 2014

PDPS 50th Anniversary

Through October 6, 2019

In the fall of 2018, the BMA’s oldest friends group, the Print, Drawing & Photograph Society (PDPS), will celebrate its 50th anniversary by sponsoring an exhibition to highlight a selection of late 19th-century, modern, and contemporary works on paper that PDPS has helped the BMA acquire over the years.

Spencer Finch. Moon Dust (Apollo 17). 2009.

Spencer Finch: Moon Dust

Through October 14, 2024

Spencer Finch’s impressive light installation Moon Dust (Apollo 17), first presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale, will illuminate the BMA’s majestic Fox Court for the next seven years.

Moon Dust (Apollo 17) is on extended loan from the collection of Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern, who are generously sponsoring its presentation at the BMA.

Collection Galleries

An installation shot of the new American Wing.

American Art

The American Wing includes more than 800 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts that explore the international character of American art and Baltimore's position as a major center for art production and foreign trade from the late 18th century forward.

An image of the Cone wing, with many colorful Matisse's adorning the gallery

Cone Collection

The Cone Collection of modern art is the crown jewel of the BMA, featuring works by Matisse, Picasso, Pissarro, Courbet, and Degas.

Collected by Baltimore sisters Claribel and Etta Cone from the early-mid 20th century, the Cone Collection is one of the world’s most important art collections.

A statue of an angry camel with two humps.

Asian Art

Discover 2,000 years of innovation by Chinese artists from 2nd century BCE to today in this presentation of the Asian art collection. Two galleries feature ceramics, furniture, and painting, as well as bronze, jade, and lacquer objects that showcase the beauty and strength of Chinese art.

A gallery shot of the installation.

European Art

This installation features the monumental Rinaldo and Armida, one of the world's finest paintings by Sir Anthony van Dyck, as well as masterpieces by Frans Hals, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin.

A visitor examining an African mask.

African Art

The BMA's presentation of its renowned African art collection emphasizes the relationships between 85 incredible works, many large-scale, and the lives of the people by and for whom the objects were made. Artists and diverse traditions from more than 40 African empires, kingdoms, and regions are represented.