Upcoming Exhibitions

Norman Lewis. Afternoon. 1969. The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection. © Estate of Norman W. Lewis, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art

From September 29, 2019 — January 19, 2020

When the acclaimed touring exhibition Solidary & Solitary reaches the BMA, it will significantly expand to more than 80 paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works and take on a new title, Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art. The exhibition offers a sweeping new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to the present moment. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction once overlooked by history, such as Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and many others.

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Melvin Edwards. _Numunake_. 1993. Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. © Melvin Edwards, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Melvin Edwards: Crossroads

From September 29, 2019 — January 12, 2020

This exhibition explores the cross-cultural connections in Melvin Edwards’ sculpture from 1980 to the present. Edwards (American, b. 1937) was profoundly energized by his experience at a major arts festival in Lagos in 1977. Since then his work has increasingly connected to African art, languages, poetry, liberation politics, and philosophy. He has made reciprocal ties to many African countries, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Senegal, where he has maintained a home for nearly 20 years. Through the presentation of 18 works from the artist’s Lynch Fragments series shown alongside a selection of larger sculpture, including the room-size installation, Agricole, Crossroads tells the story of Edwards’ travels, the people he engaged, and the larger social history of the period.

Curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Programming and Research Curator and Thaw Chair at Stony Brook University.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by the Smart Family Foundation of Illinois, the Henry Moore Foundation, and Clair Zamoiski Segal.


Grace Hartigan. Red Bowl. 1953. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Herman Jervis, New York, in Memory of Dorothy B. Jervis, BMA 1986.194. © Estate of Grace Hartigan

By Their Creative Force: American Women Modernists

From October 6, 2019 — July 5, 2020

This exhibition of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts celebrates the contributions women artists have made to the development of American modernism. The show includes works by well-known artists, including Elizabeth Catlett and Georgia O'Keeffe, among others, as well as works by those who were often under-recognized, such as Maria Martinez and Marguerite Zorach. The selection of works showcases these artists’ innovative engagements with the 20th century’s major art movements, from Cubism to Abstract Expressionism. Several of these accomplished artists—including Simone Brangier Boas, Grace Hartigan, Elsa Hutzler, Helen Jacobson, Amalie Rothschild, and Grace Turnbull—were based in Baltimore during their careers.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Sigmund M. and Mary B. Hyman Fund for American Art.


Artist unidentified, Married Woman's Blanket Cape (Ngurara). Mid-20th century. Ndebele region, South Africa. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Aaron and Joanie Young, Baltimore, BMA 2002.631

Adorned: African Women and the Art of Identity

From December 11, 2019 — June 19, 2020

Across sub-Saharan Africa, a strict gendered division of artistic labor existed throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Men worked in wood and metal, carving and casting works that glorified leaders and paid homage to deities, while women created works in clay, cloth, and beads, stitching and firing the art of everyday life. This exhibition brings together two dozen works from the BMA's collection to demonstrate the critical role of women in shaping and maintaining social identities across 20th-century Africa.


Gertrud and Otto Natzler. Bowl. 1947. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John A. Pope, BMA 1959.78. Courtesy Gail Reynolds Natzler, Trustee the Natzler Family Trust

Free Form: 20th-Century Studio Craft

From December 18, 2019 — June 7, 2020

This exhibition presents a selection of embroidery, ceramics, and jewelry by innovative mid-century American artists who shifted away from the functional aspect of craft towards an avant-garde engagement with abstraction and expression. Objects featured include works by textile artist Mariska Karasz, a Hungarian immigrant to the U.S. who moved away from her established business as a women’s clothing designer to focus on embroidery as an artistic practice; Baltimore-area designer and embroiderer Gloria Balder Katzenberg, who was influenced by Karasz’s philosophy and produced works that evoke gardens, ponds, fireworks, or celestial scenes with unconventional materials; ceramic artists Gertrud and Otto Natzler, who fled Nazi-occupied Austria and founded their own workshop in Los Angeles, California, in 1938; and metalsmith and jewelry maker Betty Cooke, a nationally acclaimed Baltimore native and an alumnus of the Maryland Institute College of Art who began her career in the mid-1940s and is still making work today.

This exhibition is supported by Susan B. Katzenberg and Carol D. Macht, in memory of Gloria Balder Katzenberg.

Curated by Virginia Anderson, Curator of American Art