Current Exhibitions

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

A Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art

Through March 7, 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.

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: Stephanie Syjuco. Rogue States. 2018.

Stephanie Syjuco: Vanishing Point (Overlay)

From February 17, 2021 — May 16, 2021

Filipino-American artist Stephanie Syjuco’s three-part installation at the BMA examines how images construct and fortify white supremacy and exclusionary narratives of history and citizenship.

Installed outside of the Museum, To the Person Sitting in Darkness (2019) reinterprets the U.S. flag based on Mark Twain’s 1901 essay for the North American Review that condemned efforts by Western nations to lay claim to the non-Western world. Twain remarked, “And as for a flag for the Philippine Province,... [w]e can just have our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and crossbones.” Syjuco has constructed the flag on a grand scale exactly as Twain described it.

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 September 19, 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 has created a new site-related environment, Is It You? The expansive installation has transformed the central gallery in the Contemporary Wing by partially suspending cloth from the ceiling, creating an enveloping “room” with undulating walls. Grosse then spray painted 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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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 October 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, Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure

Mickalene Thomas: A Moment's Pleasure

Through Fall 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.