BMA Voices: Paul Cézanne’s “Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry”, c. 1897.

Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry. c. 1897. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed  by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.196

Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry. c. 1897. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.196

Katy Rothkopf, Senior Curator & Dept Head of European Painting & Sculpture, describes removing the yellowing varnish from Paul Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry, c. 1897, and discovering surprising and stunning colors underneath.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

Related: Laura Alban’s post on Leon Kroll.

BMA Voices: Spending Sunday at Coney Island Beach, New York

Andreas Feininger. Sunday at Coney Island Beach, New York. 1949. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Friends of Art Fund, BMA 1977.86.2. © Andreas Feininger

Andreas Feininger. Sunday at Coney Island Beach, New York. 1949. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Friends of Art Fund, BMA 1977.86.2. © Andreas Feininger/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oliver Shell, Associate Curator of European Painting & Sculpture

I have never been to Coney Island but I have an image of the place based on Reginald Marsh pictures from the 1930s. Forever populated by buxom women and muscle-bound youths frolicking aggressively, it is a place where Nathan’s Hotdogs (founded there) held annual eating contests, and people visited amusement parks and freak shows. Until I came upon Andreas Feininger’s 1949 photograph, Sunday at Coney Island Beach, New York, I had no sense of how crowded the place might be. The image fascinates me; all those ant-like New Yorkers thronging to the very edge of the continent, launching themselves into the Atlantic Ocean, which many of their parents and grandparents had crossed only a few years earlier. Feininger, himself a refugee fleeing Nazi Germany, had only arrived a decade before. As a skilled photographer he quickly found a job working for Life magazine.

Comparing Feininger’s photograph to a 19th century painting by Alexandre Thiollet (also in the BMA collection, below), a scene depicting a French crowd on a beach, you get a sense of the vast transformation that has occurred in human life: the shift from an agrarian to a mass society. They are worlds apart, Thiollet’s villagers buying fish at low tide, and Feininger’s sweltering multitudes driven from the city by summer heat, entertained, fed and advertised to on an unimaginable scale.

The sense of enormity achieved in this photograph results in part from the use of some modernist strategies. Viewing the masses from an unusually high perspective and cropping the scene below the horizon line causes the individuals near the upper edge of the image to dissolve into a granular haze enhancing a sense of infinite recession. It can also be seen as an attempt to impose an abstract pattern onto his human subjects. Andreas is keenly aware of the large structures of his composition, the repeating horizontal jetties and barriers that push against the shifting diagonals of the boardwalk. Masses photographed from above had already been explored by Italian Rationalist photographers in the 1930s and by the Hungarian photographer László Moholy-Nagy,who in the twenties and thirties taught at the German Bauhaus art school together with Andreas’ father the painter Lyonel Feininger. Moholy-Nagy became the Feininger’s next-door neighbor when the Bauhaus moved to Dessau.

What most draws my attention to this image is the God-like perspective that lets you explore the many mysteries of what we are looking at. In the foreground we can pick out individuals. The boardwalk is astonishingly formal; men wear long pants and women wear dresses well below the knee. The people on the beach are separated and corralled into different enclosures. What are these? The nearest is far emptier than the second which appears madly overcrowded. The near one has almost no sun umbrellas whereas the second one is full of them. Are these different beach clubs, perhaps distinguished economically, or is the beach racially segregated? There seems to be a tension between the conformity of the individuals and the potential frenzy of the clustering mob, an inebriation reinforced by the prominent billboard advertising Seagram’s Seven Crown whiskey. Andreas Feininger’s Coney Island freezes an instant in history that preceded my birth but bears all the veracity of a memory. One is left to wonder how such a spectacular and massive phenomenon, the unique product of a teeming east coast industrial immigrant city, can have vanished.

Alexandre Thiollet. Fish Auction at the Beach of Villerville. n.d.. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The George A. Lucas Collection, purchased with funds from the State of Maryland, Laurence and Stella Bendann Fund, and contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations throughout the Baltimore community, BMA 1996.45.257

Alexandre Thiollet. Fish Auction at the Beach of Villerville. n.d.. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The George A. Lucas Collection, purchased with funds from the State of Maryland, Laurence and Stella Bendann Fund, and contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations throughout the Baltimore community, BMA 1996.45.257

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: It’s always 5 A.M. somewhere…

Mark Tobey. Five A.M.. 1953. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection, BMA 1960.3. © Estate of Mark Tobey / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Mark Tobey. Five A.M.. 1953. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection, BMA 1960.3. © 2014 Mark Tobey /Seattle Art Museum, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Dawn K. Krause, Curatorial Assistant for American Painting & Sculpture and Decorative Arts

It’s 5:00 a.m. in your favorite Big City. The sky is still dark. It could be anywhere in the world—New York, Singapore, London, Tokyo—the list is endless. While most of us are catching some last minutes of blissful sleep before the alarm clock jangles us awake, the City is already buzzing at a rapid pace.

I love Mark Tobey’s Five A.M. because it captures the energy of a busy city already in motion in the wee hours of the morning. I have always been fascinated by cities, probably because I lived two-thirds of my life on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The first time I went to New York I was spellbound. When I move to Baltimore 5 years ago to work at the BMA, Five A.M. quickly became one of my favorite paintings.

Mark Tobey was also fascinated by cities and painted numerous city themed works with such titles as Broadway Norm, City Punctuation, City Reflection, and San Francisco Street. Born in Wisconsin in 1890, at age 16 Tobey went to Chicago and studied for two years at the Art Institute of Chicago, which was be his only formal art training. Shortly after, he moved to New York and found a job as a fashion illustrator with McCalls magazine, the beginning of his successful lifelong career as an artist.

Although Tobey experimented in many different styles and techniques, he was not a member of any particular “school” or “movement.” He was self-defined, largely self-taught, and followed no master. He once wrote in a letter to one of his students,

I keep very much to myself. I hate the avant-garde stuff…I feel and want to be left alone. I have my own dreams.

Earlier I pictured Five A.M. as a street of any big city, but when the painting came to the BMA in 1960, it included a letter from its previous owner identifying it as “Street Scene, Seattle, Washington.” This makes sense considering Tobey lived in Seattle for many years and was indeed living there in 1953 when this work was painted.

Whenever I look at Five A.M. I imagine that Tobey had a lot of fun painting it. He started with a black background on top of which are bold wide brushstrokes of blue, green, red, and yellow. Smaller scribbles and blocks of white suggest the motion and rhythm of early morning traffic in a city that is already wide awake.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

Reproduction, including downloading of ARS licensed works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

BMA Voices: The void formed by the clenching of the fist


Ann Shafer, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, unpacks Stanley William Hayter’s Untitled (no. 6 from The Apocalypse) – a work of art that depicts the void formed by the clenching of your first.

Stanley William Hayter and Editions Jeanne Bucher. Untitled (no. 6 from The Apocalypse). 1931. From the portfolio “The Apocalypse”. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paul Mann, Towson, Maryland, BMA 1979.377.6. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

Reproduction, including downloading of ARS licensed works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

BMA Voices: “Which way is up?”

Yves Tanguy. The Earth and the Air. 1941. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Saidie A. May, BMA 1951.363. © Estate of Yves  Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Yves Tanguy. The Earth and the Air. 1941. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Saidie A. May, BMA 1951.363. © 2014 Estate of Yves Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Kyle Bauer, Conservation Technician for Paper

As the person who is responsible for framing and matting all the works on paper from the BMA’s collection, it might be surprising that I have chosen Yves Tanguy’s painting The Earth and the Air to write about. I first came to this painting working as a BMA security guard in the fall of 2011. Standing on one’s feet for eighthours a day leaves one looking for a retreat. The Earth and the Air did exactly that for me. As an artist myself – a sculptor and installation artist to be specific – the forms, shapes, and space moved me from a place of standing all day to constructing formal compositions in my head, which I then recorded in my sketchbook. To say I am influenced and work with my subconscious would be an understatement.

Yves Tanguy, the son of a French Navy Captain, was a member of the Paris-based surrealists who took up painting after seeing the works of Giorgio de Chirico. He was best known for his vast and meticulously painted scenes of abstract landscapes or seascapes. His paintings are filled with abstract and oddly shaped objects floating in a static dream-like space. Landscapes of sharp angular pieces, placed next to amusingly organic forms, are perfect if you are trying to find an escape from reality!

My favorite thing about The Earth and the Air is Tanguy’s precision in his painting technique. The clean lines and the seamless blending of light and shadow, providing a visual sense of space, continue to draw me into the composition. I completely gravitate towards Tanguy’s methodical practice, and appreciate the craftsmanship he demonstrates through his materials.

Any time I pass by The Earth and the Air, I am in a constant debate as to “which way is up.” The title alludes to the earth and air, and Tanguy’s color choices for each suggest the vertical presentation of earth on bottom with the air on top, but his shifting and manipulating of the perspectives illicit a real sense of floating. The painting’s composition is full of static tension, asking me to figure out “if the cord is cut, where will everything go—will they float or fall?”

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

Reproduction, including downloading of ARS licensed works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

BMA Voices: The many facets of Olafur Eliasson’s “Flower observatory”, 2004.

Olafur Eliasson. Flower observatory. 2004. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Fanny B. Thalheimer Memorial Fund, and Collectors Circle  Fund, BMA 2003.233. © Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson. Flower observatory. 2004. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Fanny B. Thalheimer Memorial Fund, and Collectors Circle Fund, BMA 2003.233. © Olafur Eliasson

Kristen Hileman, Curator & Dept. Head of Contemporary Art

While it may not be exactly what artist Olafur Eliasson had in mind, when I enter his kaleidoscopic Flower observatory, 2004, and look up at the complex arrangement of reflective triangles, I have a sensation similar to that of walking underneath the magnificent domes of old European churches. Undoubtedly, Eliasson looked to nature for inspiration, borrowing the form of a flower for his sculpture and allowing light to penetrate through openings within the network of polished metal plates. However, because the natural form is translated into an industrial material and blown up to such an enormous scale, the architectural qualities of the piece appear first and foremost to me. It is almost as if Eliasson’s piece operates as a 21st-century interpretation of the spectacular gold mosaic surfaces of Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice. In both structures, the edges of overhead elements seem to vanish because of the play of light and shadow, and the result is simultaneously one of soaring space and an enveloping sanctuary.

I also like to contrast Eliasson’s sculpture to another work in the BMA’s collection: Donald Judd’s unornamented and untitled box of 1976. The stark 3-foot high by 5-foot wide by 5-foot deep untreated plywood construction contains a single tilted plain within its interior. All of the piece’s borders and corners are clearly defined and visually legible. The piece is beautiful in its rigorous purity. To continue the spiritual analogy, it seems to relate to the austere architectural vernacular and attitudes of American Puritanism.

Another way to compare Eliasson’s and Judd’s sculptures is to apply terms elaborated by Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin (1864-1945). Wölfflin assessed art and architectural form using two categories: Renaissance and Baroque. Although these words are typically associated with chronologically distinct historical periods, Wölfflin employed the terms more broadly to summarize stylistic strategies. The multi-faceted shape, dramatic effects of light, and disintegrating volume of Eliasson’s Flower observatory place it within a contemporary extension of Wölfflin’s Baroque, while the linear, highly rationalized composition of Judd’s sculpture connects it to the art historian’s notion of a Renaissance approach.

There are pitfalls to using dichotomies to analyze artworks. Eliasson’s and Judd’s pieces do not simply exist in opposition to one other. Both sculptures engage a viewer’s body and demand to be seen from multiple vantage points. One must walk underneath Eliasson’s observatory to discover it fully, and one must walk around Judd’s work to appreciate variations in the plywood and the different intersections of the interior plane and exterior box. These active spatial relationships with the viewer are an important commonality. However, contrasting artworks can encourage closer investigation of each piece in question. And, I’ve found that analogizing my experience of abstract works to feelings that I’ve had in other situations, like walking through a church, helps me find the words I need to communicate their emotional and psychological impact on me to others.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: You spin me round like a record

John Vassos. Portable Phonograph. c. 1935. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Decorative Arts Acquisitions Endowment established by the Friends of the American Wing, and Charlotte B. Filbert Bequest Fund, BMA 2000.382

John Vassos. Portable Phonograph. c. 1935. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Decorative Arts Acquisitions Endowment established by the Friends of the American Wing, and Charlotte B. Filbert Bequest Fund, BMA 2000.382.

Rob Morgan, Collections Database Administrator

Like many municipal museums, the BMA has a large, eclectic collection. Included within it are a few objects collected for their design, including this awesome aluminum portable record player. With the recent rise in the popularity of records and portable players, it’s an interesting time to look at the RCA Victor Special.

In this era of transient technologies, it’s surprising how long records have existed (a record being a physical object that has sound waves etched into some type of material). Records were developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a standard of 78 revolutions per minute appearing by 1925 (records that played at 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm were not marketed until after WWII). Unlike the vinyl records of today, records in the 1930s were pressed on shellac. This portable phonograph was built around 1935 and plays 78s.

Designed by John Vassos, famous for his 1939 World’s Fair creations such as a TV made of translucent Lucite plastic and a console that housed a television, radio, and phonograph, this record player is typical of Art Deco design. The case of the record player is aluminum, a popular material during the Great Depression. The front of the player contains two containers, one for fresh needles, and one for used needles. The record needles of this era wore out quickly (and quickly wore out the record grooves, too).   A nice touch is the mirror located on the back of the player, allowing the user to watch their record spin round and round. Notice, too, the file folders located behind the mirror. The limit for a 78 side was about 3 and a-half minutes. The folders were needed so you could store several sides/records for your trek.

Here is a link to a YouTube clip showing the RCA Victor Special in operation. Despite its reputation as portable, weighing over 20 pounds, I imagine this player was difficult to take to picnics, or on a walk. Plus, the aluminum would get pretty scratched at the beach!

John Vassos. Portable Phonograph. c. 1935. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Decorative Arts Acquisitions Endowment established by the Friends of the American Wing, and Charlotte B. Filbert Bequest Fund, BMA 2000.382

John Vassos. Portable Phonograph. c. 1935. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Decorative Arts Acquisitions Endowment established by the Friends of the American Wing, and Charlotte B. Filbert Bequest Fund, BMA 2000.382

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

 

BMA Voices: Tauba Auerbach’s wedding of process, technique, and concept

Tauba Auerbach and Paulson Bott Press. Plate Distortion II. 2011. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Print, Drawing & Photograph Society Fund, with proceeds derived from the 2012 Contemporary Print Fair, BMA 2012.198. Courtesy of the artist and Paulson Bott Press

Tauba Auerbach and Paulson Bott Press. Plate Distortion II. 2011. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Print, Drawing & Photograph Society Fund, with proceeds derived from the 2012 Contemporary Print Fair, BMA 2012.198. Courtesy of the artist and Paulson Bott Press

Benjamin Levy, Prints, Drawings & Photographs Curatorial Assistant, speaks on the wedding of process and technique with the conceptual basis of Tauba Auerbach’s work.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: The Boxer.

Malick Sidibé. Boxer. 1966, printed 1980s, assembled 2004. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, BMA 2005.9. © Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé. Boxer. 1966, printed 1980s, assembled 2004. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, BMA 2005.9. © Malick Sibide. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

This post is by Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, former Associate Curator for African Art and Dept. Head of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia & the Pacific Islands. She recently took up a position as the Teel Curator of African and Oceanic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

1966 : a year of blue jeans, Black Power, and James Brown, whether you found yourself in Baltimore or Bamako, Mali. Malick Sidibé was the photographer of hip young people, whether at dance parties, beach outings, or in his studio. From its opening in 1958, Studio Malick was a place to document changing fashions and take an informal picture in fun poses with friends. Snapshots taken over the weekend were posted in the window of the shop, creating a constant buzz in front of the studio. In this photograph, Sidibé captures a young man in a boxer’s pose. Whether mimicking a national or international star, or a boxer himself, the subject of the portrait is a cool, modern man.

Youth in newly independent Mali embraced the bell bottoms and other styles sweeping the globe in the 1960s and 70s. In Mali, as in the United States, parents and elders did not always appreciate these changing ideas of proper dress and behavior. In the early independence era, the Malian government considered “untraditional” clothing and hobbies dangerous for national unity. The government created a militia in the 1960s responsible for enforcing socialist ideas that included abolishing traditional leadership positions, but also championed markers of traditional culture. Youth caught wearing mini-skirts, tight clothing, bell bottoms, Afros, or breaking curfew were sent to ‘reeducation’ camps to discourage the adoption of trends seen as foreign, and therefore reminiscent of the colonizers. The young man’s defensive pose in this photograph, therefore, seems like an icon of youth struggles in the period.

The serious expression of the portrait subject contrasts with the colorful frame. The frame was added in the 1990s by Sidibé’s dealer. It is a ‘sous-verre’ or ‘under glass’ painting, a popular 20th century art form from neighboring Senegal, and was not chosen by Sidibé.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.

BMA Voices: Seeing Leon Kroll’s “Landscape – Two Rivers” through the eyes of a child

Leon Kroll. Landscape -  Two Rivers. 1917. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss  Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.343. © Estate of Leon Kroll

Leon Kroll. Landscape – Two Rivers. 1917. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.343. © Estate of Leon Kroll

Laura Albans, Curatorial Assistant for the departments of European Painting and Sculpture and Conservation

Leon Kroll’s Landscape – Two Rivers was first brought to my attention by my then-10-year-old son, who discovered it in a 2001 visit to the Museum. I clearly remember him standing in front of this majestic painting extolling its beauty. It was amazing to see my young child completely engaged in a work of art, absolutely mesmerized by its magnificence and unable to take his eyes off the canvas—just standing in front of it and saying, “Now that’s a beautiful painting.”

Ever since that experience, Landscape – Two Rivers has remained very special to me. So, when I started working at the BMA, and later assisted with the Cézanne and American Modernism exhibition (2010)—where Leon Kroll’s composition was to be included in the project—it all came full circle. I distinctly remember where the painting was installed in the exhibition—holding the wall ever so strongly among the French master’s stunning works. Seeing the painting through my son’s young eyes and mine, Landscape – Two Rivers continues to resonate with me.

With its motif, rich palette, complex, yet mindful, execution, and monumental scale, Kroll has unmistakably created a very Cézanne-inspired composition—another reason as to why my attention is drawn to the painting. Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry is one of my favorite paintings in the BMA’s collection, not only because it is the best example of this motif, but mostly because it reminds me of my beloved state’s highest mountain—Mount Katahdin—in Northern Maine. Although Cézanne’s inspiration can be seen in its execution, Kroll made the composition his own, as he later wrote, “If you copy directly, it’s kind of a swipe, you know. It doesn’t belong to you, it’s a secondhand thing.”

Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry. c. 1897. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed  by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.196

Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry. c. 1897. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.196

Kroll, born into a family of musicians, began studying painting at a young age at the Art Students League under John Henry Twachtman in New York. He later attended the National Academy of Design, where he was quite successful, having his first solo exhibition in 1906. In 1908, following in the footsteps of Baltimore artist Charles Walther, Kroll traveled to France to study at the Académie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens. It was during this time in Paris that Kroll was introduced to the work of Paul Cézanne, after stumbling upon a gallery window displaying a group of the French master’s paintings. The American artist was completely inspired by Cézanne’s technique and color palette, which can be seen in his landscape paintings from his expeditions to Eddyville, New York, and Monhegan Island, Maine.

Upon returning to the States, Kroll exhibited his Paris paintings in the famed 1913 Armory Show, successfully selling all of his works. In the 1920s, he taught at the National Academy of Design, as well as the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The American modernist is mostly known for his figurative works, and was commissioned to paint murals for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Johns Hopkins University’s Shriver Hall in Baltimore, and a war memorial in Worcester, MA. Kroll had a successful career throughout his life.

The Cone sisters of Baltimore were not only patrons of Kroll, but had a close friendship with the artist and his wife. Between the two sisters, they collected one print, nine drawings, and three paintings by Kroll, including Landscape – Two Rivers. It should be noted that Claribel Cone purchased Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire, so one can easily see why Etta Cone would have purchased Landscape – Two Rivers.

BMA Voices is an insider’s exploration of The Baltimore Museum of Art collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. Featuring a new object every day during the BMA’s 100 Day Celebration, the project will highlight some favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.