From October 23, 2016 — January 29, 2017

See more than 90 paintings and drawings by the French modern master, Henri Matisse, and one of the greatest post-war American painters, Richard Diebenkorn.

" ... a deeply stirring exhibition ..."The Boston Globe

Diebenkorn’s long engagement with Matisse’s work is among the most productive instances of one painter looking at another’s paintings in the history of 20th-century art. This landmark exhibition brings together a stunning array of works loaned from museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe to follow the trajectory of Diebenkorn’s long and successful career with some of the powerful works by Matisse that the younger artist would have seen.

Among the exhibition’s many highlights are bold, groundbreaking paintings by Matisse from his most adventurous years, as well as highlights from nearly every phase of Diebenkorn’s oeuvre from the early 1950s to 1980—including several monumental canvases from his Ocean Park series, a renowned exploration of color, light, and space.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is the only East Coast venue for this highly anticipated exhibition, co-organized with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Following the Baltimore presentation, Matisse/Diebenkorn will be on view in San Francisco March 11 – May 29, 2017.

Tickets: $17.50 for Adults, $15 for Seniors (65+), $10 for Students with valid I.D., $7.50 for Youths (7-18), and Children under 6 are Free. Members are Free.

Outside guided tours, lectures, and presentations are not permitted in the Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibition.

Five Things to Know About Diebenkorn

1. His work is in almost every major U.S. museum collection
Diebenkorn (pronounced Dee-ben-korn) is widely considered one of America’s greatest post-war masters. His work can be found in almost every major U.S. museum collection, including The Baltimore Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Image: Richard Diebenkorn. Berkeley #23. 1955. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the Women’s Board, 1958. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

2. He moved between abstraction and figuration
After achieving early acclaim as an abstract artist, Diebenkorn confounded his admirers by shifting to figurative imagery for several years before returning back to abstraction. He had a rare fluidity and independent style, often going against the grain of what was expected or popular at the time.

Image: Richard Diebenkorn. Seated Figure with Hat. 1967. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., gift of the Collectors Committee and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Rubin, 1991.176.1. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

3. He lived and worked in California
Diebenkorn is strongly associated with California, where he lived and worked for most of his career. A sense of the light and space of the West Coast infuse his paintings, revealing a great sensitivity to the environment in which they were created. "Very often if you go to the locale where an artist works, you'll suddenly really know that you're in the person's area." - Diebenkorn

Image: Richard Diebenkorn. Cityscape #1. 1963. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase with funds from Trustees and friends in memory of Hector Escobosa, Brayton Wilbur, and J. D. Zellerbach, 1964. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation


4. He was influenced by several Modern European and American artists
Though Henri Matisse was his greatest and most enduring influence, Diebenkorn also held a lifelong admiration for the work of Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, and Piet Mondrian, among many others.

Image: Richard Diebenkorn. Woman on a Porch. 1958. New Orleans Museum of Art, museum purchase through the National Endowment for the Arts Matching Grant, 77.64. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

5. He is best known for his Ocean Park series
Diebenkorn is most acclaimed for a series of monumental, luminous abstract paintings named for the Santa Monica neighborhood where he lived from 1966-88. Upon seeing one of these works, BMA Senior Curator Katy Rothkopf said: “One has the sense of entering a space filled with color and line, struggle and conclusion, and this feeling produces a composition that is mesmerizing and elegant.”

Image: Richard Diebenkorn. Ocean Park #79. 1975. Philadelphia Museum of Art, purchased with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and with funds contributed by private donors, 1977, 1977-28-1. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Richard Diebenkorn on Beginning a Painting


Matisse and Diebenkorn, side by side // CBS Sunday Morning

Matisse And Diebenkorn 'Meet' At Last, At The Baltimore Museum Of Art // NPR Morning Edition

BMA exhibit pairs Matisse and Diebenkorn // Baltimore Beacon

Matisse/Diebenkorn at the Baltimore Museum of Art // France Today

Baltimore and Philadelphia’s colourful tribute to Matisse // Apollo

Beautiful show celebrates impact of Matisse on Diebenkorn // The Boston Globe

New BMA exhibit showcases Matisse paintings alongside works of one of his heirs, Diebenkorn // The Baltimore Sun

Matisse/Diebenkorn // Apollo's Art Diary

A Good Reason To Visit Baltimore // Classic Esquire

BMA's New Matisse/Diebenkorn Exhibit: Inspired Art. An interview with Sr. Curator Katy Rothkopf and BMA Director Christopher Bedford // 88.1FM, WYPR

New BMA Exhibit Highlights Matisse's Influence On Diebenkorn // Baltimore Magazine

Matisse/Diebenkorn Catalogue // Interview Magazine, Coffee Table Curator

Matisse and Diebenkorn: The Time is Now // Craig Michael Meklir

The New Season: Museums // CBS Sunday Morning

Art Fall Preview: From East Coast to West Coast. From Concrete to Ethereal // The New York Times

Sr. Curator Katy Rothkopf on Matisse/Diebenkorn with Judith Krummeck // 91.5FM, WBJC

‘He’s Entering the Canon’: Richard Diebenkorn Foundation will Issue Catalogue Raisonné this fall with Yale // ARTNEWS

Richard Diebenkorn: The Matisse Effect // Amy Beverungen, BMA's Print, Drawing & Photograph Society

“Diebenkorn had a very successful career painting in an abstract manner. And then in 1955, out of the blue, he decided to start to paint figuratively which was quite surprising I think for his colleagues and his dealers and his family.” // BMA Blog

“When you stand before a grand-scale work like ''Ocean Park No. 107'' (1978) … you know that color and light have found a master.” // The New York Times, A Painter Unafraid to Change Styles

Exhibition Catalogue

Featuring stunning pairings of more than 100 paintings and drawings, this gorgeous book brings together the work of Henri Matisse and Richard Diebenkorn as never before, offering new ways of understanding both artists. Essays by BMA Senior Curator Katy Rothkopf and SFMOMA Curator Janet Bishop highlight the ways Diebenkorn drew from Matisse’s example to forge a style entirely his own. An introductory essay by John Elderfield, Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art and Allen R. Adler Distinguished Curator and Lecturer at the Princeton University Art Museum and an essay by Jodi Roberts, Halperin Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, round out this extraordinary volume. Available at the BMA Shop October 2016.
$44.95 / $40.45 for BMA Members

Hotel Specials

Enjoy special discounts from the following hotels when visiting Baltimore for Matisse/Diebenkorn:

Hotel Brexton
868 Park Ave, 21201
10% discount off room rate of choice. Use code: MDCityscape1

Hotel Indigo
24 W Franklin St, 21201
20% discount off room rate of choice.

Hyatt Place
511 South Central Avenue, 21202
Friends & Family rate of $129, includes breakfast and WIFI

Inn at The Colonnade Baltimore
4 W University Pkwy, 21218
$138 (discount rate for standard, based on availability)

Join today and enjoy free exhibition tickets, plus discounts at the BMA Shop, Gertrude’s restaurant, and several other neighborhood restaurants. Click here for a complete list of benefits.

Baltimore offers an abundance of history, culture, sports, and special events throughout the year. Find out more about Baltimore accommodations, attractions, events, and restaurants from the following organizations:

Organized by

Matisse/Diebenkorn is co-organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is curated in Baltimore by BMA Senior Curator of European Paintings & Sculpture Katy Rothkopf.

Supported By

Major support for Matisse/Diebenkorn has been provided by The Henry Luce Foundation and Terra Foundation for American Art. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The Baltimore presentation of the exhibition is made possible by Ellen W. P. Wasserman, Jeanette C. and Stanley H. Kimmel, Tony and Lynn Deering, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate sponsorship is provided by Bank of America and Education Partner Transamerica.

Luce logo Terra logo Art Works logo

Home page left: Henri Matisse. The Yellow Dress. 1929-31. The Baltimore Museum of Art. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / ARS, New York. Home page right: Richard Diebenkorn. Seated Figure with Hat. 1967. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation. Above left: Henri Matisse. View of Notre Dame. 1914. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. ©2016 Succession H. Matisse / ARS, New York. Above right: Richard Diebenkorn. Ocean Park #79. 1975. Philadelphia Museum of Art ©2016 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.