Current Exhibitions

Image: Unidentified Lakota artist (United States). Boy’s Vest. Late 19th century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Mrs. Richard W. Case, Sparks, Maryland, BMA 1985.162

Stripes and Stars: Reclaiming Lakota Independence

Through March 28, 2021

By the late 1800s, the United States government had confined the Lakota people of North and South Dakota to reservations and had taken away their freedom to roam the plains, hunt buffalo, and practice their religion. Surprisingly, during this same period Lakota women began incorporating the American flag and patriotic iconography into traditional beadwork designs.

Image: Vincent van Gogh. Landscape with Figures. 1889. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.303

Adelyn Breeskin: Curating a Legacy

Through April 4, 2021

Adelyn Breeskin: Curating a Legacy explores Adelyn Breeskin and her extraordinary career as BMA Director from 1942-1962 through archival materials and examples of the beloved works the Museum acquired under her curatorial vision and leadership. Throughout her 32-year career at the Museum, beginning with her tenure as the BMA’s first curator of prints in 1930 and, later, the museum director, Breeskin secured the renowned Cone Collection for the BMA and accomplished countless other achievements, including commissioning the U.S. Pavilion for the 1960 Venice Biennale.

Image: Installation view, A Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art. Photography by Mitro Hood

A Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art

Through January 17, 2021

Across central Africa’s matrilineal belt, the most important artworks were those that depicted the female body. In these 19th and early 20th century communities, group identity and familial responsibility flowed through the maternal line. Artists responded to this reality by sculpting visual markers of motherhood onto a range of objects associated with status and authority. In these societies, mothers not only created life and nurtured families, but also stood at the center of the moral order, ensuring the continuity of entire communities. From monumental headdresses of elderly mothers to sculptures that represent mythic female ancestors, this exhibition brings together nearly 40 objects from public and private collections to demonstrate how artists have represented the power of African mothers and used maternal imagery to signal moral, cultural, and spiritual authority.

Artist's sketch of Grace stands beside

Shinique Smith: Grace Stands Beside

Through January 3, 2021

Taking the form of a deity-like figure, Shinique Smith’s newest sculpture, Grace stands beside, is a monument to Grace—defined by the artist as “a complex state of being that Black people and others who have endured tragic prejudice have embodied to survive and to rise beyond.” Smith created the sculpture with Baltimore residents’ donated fabric and clothing after reflecting on her layered feelings and memories of sculptures past and present in Baltimore City, where she grew up and attended Maryland Institute College of Art. The sculpture’s title, Grace stands beside, reclaims language from an inscription on the base of a Confederate monument that stood on Mount Royal Avenue until its removal in 2017. The inscription, “Glory stands beside our grief,” referenced the sculpture’s depiction of Glory as an angel holding a dying Confederate soldier while raising a laurel crown, or symbol of Victory.

SHAN Wallace. FAM. 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

SHAN Wallace: 410

Through January 3, 2021

Baltimore-born artist SHAN Wallace’s exhibition 410 is, in the photographer’s words, a love letter to the beauty, complexity, and resilience of her hometown. Representing highlights of her evolving, relational practice of the past five years, Wallace will be crafting an immersive environment that engages her newfound interest in collage, the connective possibilities of different museum spaces, and the expressive potential of portrait photography. In conjunction with the artist’s presentation in the Museum’s Contemporary Wing galleries, Wallace will also be engaging Baltimore audiences through portrait sessions and workshops at the BMA’s branch location within Lexington Market. The historic market is a site of sustained interest, investigation, and outreach within the artist’s evolving practice.

Image: Katharina Grosse . Untitled. 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019. Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Katharina Grosse: Is It You?

Through January 3, 2021

German artist Katharina Grosse’s exuberant large-scale, in-situ paintings explore how and where a painted image can appear in our lives. Often painted directly onto and across architectural structures and objects or into landscapes, her extraordinary, colorful works invite visitors to engage with painting on both a visual and a physical level.

For this exhibition at the BMA, the internationally acclaimed artist will present five recent paintings and create a new site-related environment, Is It You? The expansive installation will transform the central gallery in the Contemporary Wing by partially suspending cloth from the ceiling, creating an enveloping “room” with undulating walls. Grosse will then spray paint onto the fabric, allowing the paint colors and the shape of the fabric to combine to form a vibrant and immersive experience for visitors.

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Valerie Maynard. Get Me Another Heart This One's Been Broken Too Many Times. 1995. Courtesy of the Artist

Valerie Maynard: Lost and Found

Through January 3, 2021

This one-gallery retrospective celebrates the six-decade career of Baltimore-based printmaker and sculptor Valerie Maynard. The exhibition features a range of works drawn largely from her studio, including the landmark No Apartheid series from the 1980s and 1990s, which embodies her unique ability to combine diverse techniques (assemblage, pochoir, and monotype) into both deeply personal and profoundly political new forms of art on paper. A rarely exhibited selection of Maynard’s early sculpture will also be on view. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the BMA and featuring essays by Bill Gaskins, Edward Spriggs, Nikky Finney, and Alexis DeVeaux.

Image: Ana Mendieta. Blood Inside Outside. 1975. 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 2019.3. © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Ana Mendieta: Blood Inside Outside

Through January 3, 2021

Recently acquired by the BMA, Ana Mendieta’s 1975 film, Blood Inside Outside, demonstrates the pioneering feminist artist’s exploration of the multiple layers of meaning ascribed to blood—from death to rebirth. This presentation of the film by the late artist (Cuban, 1948-1985) is accompanied by rare lifetime photographs from the artist’s Body Tracks series as well as her elegant drawings of abstracted outlines of paleolithic goddesses, repeatedly inscribed on a variety of surfaces, from modern paper to an actual leaf to an ancient style of bark cloth.

Zackary Drucker. Untitled (Portrait of Rosalyne Blumenstein) (Detail). 2019. Courtesy of the Artist and Luis de Jesus, Los Angeles

Zackary Drucker: Icons

Through January 3, 2021

Zackary Drucker: Icons weaves together two semi-intertwined personal narratives, juxtaposing newly created self-portrait photographs of artist, producer, and activist Zackary Drucker with pictures the artist has taken of mentor and friend Rosalyne Blumenstein, LCSW, who directed the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center’s pioneering Gender Identity Project in the 1990s. Depicting two women of different ages and experiences and the scars that they bear, Drucker’s work interrogates assumptions about transformation, beauty, aging, and mortality. Her searching, meticulous self-portraits expand on the groundbreaking Relationship series Drucker co-created a decade ago. Forming part of Drucker’s ongoing project to record and chronicle the trans community, her images of muse and mentor Blumenstein capture the cinematic flavor of the artist’s timely revision of art historical precedent.

Image: Howardena Pindell. Free, White and 21 (Video still). 1980. Gift of Garth Greenan. © Howardena Pindell, Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Howardena Pindell: Free, White and 21

Through January 3, 2021

Howardena Pindell’s influential video Free, White and 21 (1980) voices complex and conflicting perspectives on race and gender. The 12-minute work was created in 1979 after a car accident left the artist with partial memory loss. Eight months later, she set up a video camera in her apartment, focused it on herself, and created a deadpan account of the racism she experienced coming of age as a black woman in America. She told the Walker Art Center that she developed the work out of her need to heal and to vent: “My work in the studio after the accident helped me to reconstruct missing fragments from the past ... In the tape I was bristling at the women’s movement, as well as the art world, and some of the usual offensive encounters that were heaped on top of the racism of my profession.”

Jo Smail. A Labour Crisis. 2017. From the series Past is Present. Courtesy of Goya Contemporary Gallery

Jo Smail: Flying With Remnant Wings

Through January 3, 2021

Using a poignant language of charged colors and abstract forms, South African-born, Baltimore-based artist Jo Smail conveys the strangeness, vulnerability, and complicated beauty of contemporary life. This exhibition features 50 paintings and works on paper by Smail, as well as collages produced with fellow South African William Kentridge. The earliest works date to the late 1990s and early 2000s when the artist overcame a studio fire that destroyed all her previous paintings and a stroke that inhibited her movement and speech. Since then, Smail has continued experimenting with different media and compositional strategies. Her profound and unique works, accompanied by their poetic and irreverent titles, reflect an irrepressible joy and optimism; at the same time, they never shy away from a world always on the brink of destabilization.

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Image: Elissa Blount Moorhead And Bradford Young . Back and Song (video still). 2019. Courtesy of the artists.

Elissa Blount Moorhead and Bradford Young: Back and Song

Through January 3, 2021

This meditative four-channel film and art installation reflects on the pursuit of health and well-being at the root of how life, breath, joy, and pain manifest in black experience from cradle to grave. Back and Song considers the labor and care provided by generations of black healers—doctors, nurses, midwives, morticians, therapists, and health aides—and their histories of contribution to and resistance from the flawed and discriminatory structures of Western medicine. Working with archivists from around the world, Moorhead and Young synthesized images of quotidian black family life into a time-based archive of expression. Paired with new footage, archival compilations reflect on how music, movement, sound therapy, dance, rest, and meditation are brought together as a spectrum of individual and communal pursuits.

Image: Installation view, Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure

Mickalene Thomas: A Moment's Pleasure

Through May 2021

Mickalene Thomas’ immersive two-story installation transforms the BMA’s East Lobby into a living room for Baltimore. The experience extends onto an enclosed terrace where the BMA hosts a series of events, such as film screenings, artist talks, performances, workshops, book clubs, and self-care seminars. Influenced by the 1970s and 1980s, Thomas’ signature aesthetic incorporates geometric patterns, prints, textures, wood paneling, and shag carpeting, among other nostalgic motifs.

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 February 21, 2021

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 /

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.