Celebrating the BMA’s Monuments Men

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Charles Parkhurst in the BMA Education Department, October 1965. People Photograph Collection, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, The Baltimore Museum of Art. PCP.5.36.1

Tracy Lewis, BMA Archives Intern

When I first sat down with the BMA Archives’ People Photograph Collection, I felt like a stranger lost in a crowd. As a Library and Archives intern on a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), I have been rearranging and processing photographs, negatives, and slides of people who have are in some way connected to the Museum, whether they be staff, members of the Board of Trustees, speakers, or visitors to the galleries. Over the past seven months, I have gotten to know these people in the crowd. I even know some of their birthdays, such as former Museum Director Charles Parkhurst, who was born on January 23, 1913. He and former Associate Director Denys P. Myers were both Monuments Men.

Men and women who have served in the US Armed Forces have not only served their country, but also the world’s art. In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section (MFAA) of the Civil Affairs and Military Government Divisions of the Allied Armies. Their story made popular by the 2014 film starring Matt Damon and George Clooney, the Monuments Men were 345 volunteer museum directors, curators, art historians, artists, architects, educators, and other experts from 14 nations. The MFAA selected them to retrieve, protect, and return cultural artifacts that had been looted by Nazi forces during World War II.

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Denys Peter Myers, June 1961. People Photographs Collection, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, The Baltimore Museum of Art. PCP.2.68.1

An architectural historian and Episcopalian deacon who worked at the Museum from 1959 until 1965, Denys P. Myers helped Lt. John Skilton to salvage the Trepolo ceiling in the Residenz Palace in Würzberg, Germany. Allied bombing in 1945 had destroyed part of the ceiling of the palace and left Trepolo’s painting Olympus and the Four Continents exposed to the elements. Skilton and his crew scoured the region for lumber and rebuilt the ceiling. Restoration of the palace wasn’t completed until 1990.

Parkhurst, Director of the BMA from 1962 until 1970, served as a Navy gunnery officer in the Mediterranean prior to his appointment as deputy chief of the MFAA section of the US Military Government in Germany around the end of the war. France named Parkhurst a Chevalier in the Legion of Honor in 1948 for his contribution to the reclamation of the art stolen by the National Socialists. On November 7, 1945, Parkhurst and 24 other military officers signed the Wiesbaden Manifesto in protest to a US government directive that ordered the Monuments Men to ship 202 German-owned paintings held at the Wiesbaden Collecting Point to the National Gallery of Art. In a 1982 interview, Parkhurst said he and his fellow officers likened the federal government’s demand to the very looting that instigated their mission.

Parkhurst wholeheartedly believed in the responsibility of a museum to educate its visitors. In his first annual report to the Board of Trustees, excerpts of which were published in The Baltimore Museum of Art News in 1964, the Director listed several objectives for the museum. One of those objectives, he said should be “to broaden and to enrich the visitor’s knowledge of the world, particularly of his own cultural heritage; but also to shed light upon cultures other than his own which otherwise he might not recognize, let alone understand.”  Without his and Myers’ efforts to rescue European art from the plundering of the Nazis, these cultural treasures might not exist for museum visitors worldwide to learn about today. The experiences that Parkhurst, Myers, and the many other individuals who are pictured in the People Photograph Collection have brought to the Museum are treasures in themselves that add a dynamic dimension to the art displayed in the BMA’s galleries. Preservation of the photographs and other records in the BMA Archives make their stories available so that others may learn about and understand their legacy to the Museum.

Home Stories Profiles: Michelle Gomez and Anthony Summers

Anthony Summers and Michelle Gomez

Anthony and Michelle lived with a reproduction of The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz for one month.

What could people discover about their ideas of home and art by living with a life size reproduction of a BMA artwork for one month? Home Stories is our quest to find out…

Partners Michelle Gomez and Anthony Summers live at the intersection of two neighborhoods in North Baltimore, and it seems their lives are, at least in part, shaped by intersections. Michelle is an independent curator and arts organizer and Anthony is an art-lover working in finance. Their home is filled with beautiful objects they have made and collected alongside tomes on economics and books on cultural theory and art history. Their responses to The Steerage were very different, yet complementary, emerging from the intersections of art, finance, migrant experience, and activism.

When you visit Imagining Home at the BMA you’ll have the opportunity to watch a video of Michelle and Anthony with The Steerage alongside two households that also lived with it.

Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage. From the journal "291" (Nos. 7-8, September-October 1915). 1907, published 1915. Photogravure, Sheet: 465 x 318 mm. (18 5/16 x 12 1/2 in.), Image: 333 x 264 mm. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Cary Ross, BMA 1988.565

Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage. From the journal “291” (Nos. 7-8, September-October 1915). 1907, published 1915.
Photogravure, Sheet: 465 x 318 mm., Image: 333 x 264 mm. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Cary Ross, BMA 1988.565

Imagining Home, the inaugural exhibition for the BMA’s new Joseph Education Center brings together more than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection to explore the universal theme of home.

A Short History of Epic Pillow Forts

Since the dawn of time, humans have been rearranging their stuff. Stonehenge, Easter Island, the Great Pyramids, can all be seen as the results of people deciding to move their things around. As soon as couch cushions, chairs, and blankets were available, someone was probably combining these pieces in ways that they were never intended to be combined. People (of all ages) use furniture and fabric to make forts within their homes for a lot of reasons, but most of these boil down to a need find some temporary refuge from everyday life. If the home is a shelter, then the pillow fort is a shelter within the shelter, an interior within the interior. The pillow fort is defensible space, but it is not made of hard warlike materials. Instead it is soft, the comfortable, inviting ordinary stuff of the home is rearranged into new configurations to make new kinds of space. The pillow fort has a whimsical legibility, it reads as both the castle and the couch at the same time, and it invites us to engage with it, to use it, and to remake it. This making and remaking is extra fun with company. Just like in full size home-building (or Stonehenge building), the creation of the pillow fort needs extra hands present, if only to balance the couch cushions while the blanket is draped over the top.

A sketch of the BMA's pillow fort activity

A sketch of the BMA’s pillow fort activity

The pillow fort uses many of the same construction methods present in domestic architectural history. First a site must be chosen and prepared. Low heavy space can be made by stacking things, and higher, lighter space is defined by adaptable frames. Modular textiles can wrap around all of this and create enclosure, with openings back to the outside world. No pillow fort, or house, is complete without something like a hearth. People need light, entertainment, and the social space that’s created around an active center like a fireplace, ipad, or flashlight…

For The Baltimore Museum of Art’s first Art After Hours event, come join us in the collaborative construction of a giant pillow fort in the Museum’s East Lobby. The event will include live music, local food and beer, and other activities in conjunction with the Imagining Home exhibition. Baltimore is our home, and the BMA invites you to come and make yourself at home here for the evening. We’ll make a temporary home within the lobby, come participate in person, and follow along with the hashtag #BMApillowfort on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The pillow fort will be up over the weekend, but we hope you’ll be comfortable and cozy enough to come back anytime!

– Fred Scharmen and Marian April Glebes

Postcards from Imagining Home

My home begins anywhere I can run fast and without fear of capture. My home is a bag on my back and a bike under my legs. The world jostles for my attention and I move move move. My home is my body.

My home begins anywhere I can run fast and without fear of capture. My home is a bag on my back and a bike under my legs. The world jostles for my attention and I move move move. My home is my body.

I used to think my roles only consisted of things like retrieving the chicken's eggs. But now I understand it goes far beyond that. I know my roles include loving my gay brother and making things right with my dad.

I used to think my roles only consisted of things like retrieving the chicken’s eggs. But now I understand it goes far beyond that. I know my roles include loving my gay brother and making things right with my dad.

It is in a country and a city where you are free to walk outside your home and go where you will, say what you want, think or write what you want without fear that your door will be battered down by oppressors. At home, you have enough to eat and you are safe.

It is in a country and a city where you are free to walk outside your home and go where you will, say what you want, think or write what you want without fear that your door will be battered down by oppressors. At home, you have enough to eat and you are safe.

Your home is inside of you. You take it everywhere and no one can take it away from you. It is what you believe, love, stand for.

Your home is inside of you. You take it everywhere and no one can take it away from you. It is what you believe, love, stand for.

As the oldest child in a Korean-American home, I play the role of the dependable "son" my parents never had. Clearly a daughter and oldest sister, I also play the role as my sister's 2nd mother due to her being 7 years younger than me. Those are my roles.

As the oldest child in a Korean-American home, I play the role of the dependable “son” my parents never had. Clearly a daughter and oldest sister, I also play the role as my sister’s 2nd mother due to her being 7 years younger than me. Those are my roles.

Somewhere to rest my bones with the ones I love.

Somewhere to rest my bones with the ones I love.

These postcards were submitted as part of an activity in the BMA’s Imagining Home exhibition. Visitors are invited to write a postcard responding to questions about what home means to them, and then the postcards are mailed to other BMA visitors. Anyone who would like to receive a postcard can submit their address.

Home Stories Profiles: Detwiler Household

Dan and Drew Detweiler of Home Stories

Dan and Drew Detwiler lived with “Issue 16” of “The Thing”—a shower curtain.

What could people discover about their ideas of home and art by living with a life size reproduction of a BMA artwork for one month? Home Stories is our quest to find out…

Dan Detwiler and his son Drew come to the BMA’s Free Family Sundays events regularly. Drew is an avid artist, and their home is filled with his drawings, paintings, and sculptures. He recently made a series of drawings of great buildings from around the world, such as the Leaning Tower of Piza and the Eiffel Tower, which he complemented with a futuristic imaginary city built of Legos that includes two towering restaurants, a city hall, an art museum (of course), and more.

Dan and Drew got the shower curtain for their Home Stories artwork because they were one of the most adventurous families to participate in this project. It’s no easy thing to live with a huge artwork in your most private room, least of all one that addresses you each time you read it.

Here we have a special treat: an extended video of Dan and Drew talking about their experiences living with this incredible shower curtain.

When you visit Imagining Home at the BMA you’ll have the opportunity to watch a video of Dan and Drew with Issue 16 of Thing Quarterly alongside another household that also lived with it.

You can also listen to three participants in the Home Stories project, including Dan, read the text on the shower curtain:

Imagining Home, the inaugural exhibition for the BMA’s new Joseph Education Center brings together more than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection to explore the universal theme of home.

An eye for detail: Walking through Imagining Home with Associate Curator Oliver Shell

Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage. From the journal "291" (Nos. 7-8, September-October 1915). 1907, published 1915. Photogravure, Sheet: 465 x 318 mm. (18 5/16 x 12 1/2 in.), Image: 333 x 264 mm. (13 1/8 x 10 3/8 in.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Cary Ross, BMA 1988.565

Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage. From the journal “291” (Nos. 7-8, September-October 1915). 1907, published 1915.
Photogravure, Sheet: 465 x 318 mm. (18 5/16 x 12 1/2 in.), Image: 333 x 264 mm. (13 1/8 x 10 3/8 in.)
The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Cary Ross, BMA 1988.565

Images contain details that can be enlightening or senseless, or whose import may be lost due the passage of time.  In an exhibition like Imagining Home with so many big themes, I find myself fixated by particulars. The passengers in Alfred Stieglitz’s classic photograph The Steerage almost universally wear hats or head gear. The women wear head scarves while among the men we see workers caps, fancy bowler hats, and one very prominent straw boater. What did it mean to wear a straw boater or bowler hat while traveling in steerage in 1907? Was there any difference? The larger point may be that in this era nobody left his or her home without some form of head covering–a practice that died out somewhere in the mid-20th century. My grandmother still wore a hat when she went to town. I do not! Lost rituals of propriety create a separation between their world and ours.

Marguerite Gérard. Motherhood. c. 1795-1800 Oil on wood panel, 24 x 20 in. (61.0 x 50.8 cm.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Elise Agnus Daingerfield, BMA 1944.102

Marguerite Gérard. Motherhood. c. 1795-1800. Oil on wood panel, 24 x 20 in. (61.0 x 50.8 cm.)
The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Elise Agnus Daingerfield, BMA 1944.102

Marguerite Gérard. Motherhood (detail). c. 1795-1800 Oil on wood panel, 24 x 20 in. (61.0 x 50.8 cm.) The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Elise Agnus Daingerfield, BMA 1944.102

The oil lamp depicted in Marguerite Gerard’s Motherhood is among the most exquisitely complex light fixtures that I have ever seen. Symbolically, this may be fitting for a work produced in the ‘age of enlightenment.’ Unfortunately, this lamp sheds little light onto the purpose of some of the other props in this room.  For instance, what are we to make of the large panel leaning against the wall, behind the mother? It depicts three rows of hand-written yet indecipherable words. My sense is that it would have been a recognizable object in its day, otherwise why include it? Perhaps it may serve some pedagogical function in the child’s upbringing—perhaps an aid to reading? The child seems too young for such instruction, and yet, it could signal a future intention to nurture and educate the child at home.

It is not purely by chance that Frances Benjamin Johnston’s photograph, Sophia’s Dairy, Harford County, Maryland, showing a double staircase in a seemingly vacant house, appears to dance as though liberated from any architectural rule. It is as though the photographer were channeling Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who’s Imaginary Prisons prints included staircases leading madly in pointless directions.

Frances Benjamin Johnston. Sophia's Dairy, Harford County, Maryland. 1936-1937. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase Fund. BMA 1938.37

Frances Benjamin Johnston. Sophia’s Dairy, Harford County, Maryland. 1936-1937. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase Fund. BMA 1938.37

A closer look reveals that Johnston has most deliberately chosen the single angle and camera elevation where the ascending stairs, at left, seem parallel to the top 4 stairs, which are in fact at a 90 degree angle to the lower 9 stairs.  This creates a seemingly uninterrupted ascent and obscures the shared landing at the level of the top of the door.  Not only does one have to turn 90 degrees to ascend further, but one has to do so twice in order to reach the second floor.  The turning motif is architecturally expressed through the rolled terminal volute of the bannister; but the true direction of the rising dark bannister is obscured (just where it turns 90 degrees for the first time) through its carefully planned visual intersection with the bottom rail of the second floor bannister.  Johnston’s game is to confuse the eye and liberate the architectural components from their structural duties with joyous irrational effect. Her play is achieved through the manipulation of details.

Imagining Home brings together more than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection to explore the universal theme of home. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Director of Interpretation and Public Engagement Gamynne Guillotte and Associate Curator of European Painting & Sculpture Oliver Shell.

 

Spatial Recognition

Print Exhibition Room, circa 1932-1940. Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art. BGP003_002.

Print Exhibition Room, circa 1932-1940. Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art. BGP003_002.

Melissa Wertheimer, BMA Archives intern

My love for archival research and processing began during my graduate studies at the Peabody Institute where I studied flute and piccolo. I’ve worked in the Peabody Institute Archives with special collections of music manuscripts, photographs, recordings, and ephemera. At the Walters Art Museum Archives, my work with curatorial records and special collections led to a lecture about the museum’s own Monuments Man. I was thrilled to expand my historical knowledge of Baltimore’s great artistic institutions during my five-month internship in the BMA Archives.

My first project at the BMA Archives was sponsored by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC): processing the photographs, negatives, and slides related to the BMA’s architectural history. The Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection provides a visual timeline of the museum and the surrounding property’s physical growth, architectural changes, renovations, and various uses.

To boil down the contents of this collection to one word, it is all about space: why we create it, who it’s for, how it’s used, what it represents, and what the literal and figurative boundaries are. As a budding archivist in 2015 Baltimore, these questions hold particular relevance as I watch my adopted Baltimore home evolve. I’ve lived here for seven years, and I can’t help but notice that this city’s abundance of historical architecture serves as a quiet, nostalgic onlooker to change. I find it ironic and poetic that change is the consistent tie between old and new.

As a trained musician, especially a performer of contemporary music, these philosophical questions about space are vital to my understanding of artistic intent and creative musical programming.  When I perform, the space itself is important to me. Not merely the venue, but the layout of the space, the acoustics, and the allowance for movement. Professional musicians are used to adjusting for acoustics; the amount of reverb in a space directly affects how fast or slow a piece can be played without muddiness. But, I often feel the experience of sharing music in spaces with others falls short because the audience is a faraway clump of people. I’ve found that the slightest adjustments in performer/audience proximity and seat orientation make a world of difference. I even move about a space as I perform if that choice enhances the musical experience. I play with space in these ways to not only enhance the “weirdness” or “novelty” of a contemporary work, but also to breathe new life into canonical repertoire. In these ways, the concept of space itself is a vehicle for change.

During the four months I worked on the Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection, one space struck me more than any other to mirror changes at the BMA: the Garden Room (not currently accessible to the public). Depending upon the decade, it could be called many other names: the Print Exhibition Room, the Members Room, the Sales and Rental Gallery, or the Café. Most recently, the Garden Room served as a temporary visitor’s entrance during the Historic Merrick Entrance renovation. This easily adaptable space is located on the ground floor of the BMA’s original John Russell Pope Building with the entrance facing onto the west museum grounds.

The story of this space is best told by the archival photographs themselves. I hope you enjoy the images and that they inspire you to consider the ideas of space and change as you move about any city you call home.

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Members Room, 1940s. Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art. BGP004_001.

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Sales and Rental Gallery Publicity Photograph, 1955. Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art. BGP006_001.

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Museum Café, 1969 Apr. Buildings and Grounds Photographs Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art. PC_Cafe1969Apr.

Contact me through my website, www.melissa-wertheimer.com.  Let’s nerd out together.

Home Stories at the BMA

Dan and Drew Detweiler of Home Stories

Dan and Drew Detweiler lived with “Issue 16” of “The Thing”—a shower curtain.

What could people discover about their ideas of home and art by living with a life size reproduction of a BMA artwork for one month?
Home Stories is the BMA’s quest to find out.

Imagining Home, the inaugural exhibition in the BMA’s new Joseph Education Center, is an exploration of the multitude of ways that people around the world think about home. We thought it would be interesting to include a project based around art in the home because so many of the artworks in the exhibition were originally intended to be displayed in homes. Home Stories was conceived as a program in which households from across Baltimore would live with artwork reproductions for about a month, and then we would interview them about their experience.

Eleven households were selected from across the Baltimore area, with an eye towards diversity in age, race, class, neighborhood, and household composition. The participants also brought a great range in experience with art, from novice collectors and makers to experienced artists and curators. This diversity in perspectives allowed us to explore a wonderful variety of responses to the artworks.

Francine Housier and Kalima Young lived with selections from the "Rich and Poor" Series by Jim Goldberg.

Francine Housier and Kalima Young lived with selections from the “Rich and Poor” Series by Jim Goldberg.

We hypothesized that this would be a very personal experience for the participants and that each household would have a unique experience. We also hoped that living with artwork reproductions would lead participants to think about art in a new way. Our expectations were wildly exceeded on both counts.

LaMecka Moore and family lived with selections from the Rich and Poor series by Jim Goldberg

LaMecka Moore and family lived with selections from the “Rich and Poor” series by Jim Goldberg

The artworks selected for this project include the colorful painting A Quick Nap by Walter Williams, the detailed photograph The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz, a set of four annotated photographs from the Rich and Poor series by Jim Goldberg, and Issue 16 from The Thing, which is a shower curtain with text by Dave Eggers. Each of these works presented different challenges for participants. The Williams is big, but very charming. The Stieglitz is a bit smaller with details that make you want to get up close and examine it. The Goldbergs are emotionally challenging because the annotations are very personal and often sad. The shower curtain is, well, a shower curtain—imagine a piece of art that big in the place where you bathe!

Melinda and Kathy Condray watching the Home Stories video for "The Steerage."

Melinda and Kathy Condray watching the Home Stories video for “The Steerage.”

Over the next several months, we’re going to share some our Home Stories with you here on the blog. You can also visit the BMA to see the art, and watch the Home Stories videos to discover for yourself what our participants experienced.

Seeing Color: A Conversation About Race & Art 

Alison Saar. Strange Fruit. 1995. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Contemporary Art Endowment Fund. BMA 1995.122

Alison Saar. Strange Fruit. 1995. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Contemporary Art Endowment Fund. BMA 1995.122

Numerous events throughout the country and in our own city this past spring have challenged our staff to think about race and its representation in art. In Baltimore and other cities we have been prompted to reexamine symbols such as Confederate monuments, while elsewhere confederate flags glorifying the racial injustice advocated by the Confederacy are finally being removed from some public buildings, addressing a painful chapter in history—and a continuing reality—for many Americans. With its important collections of African and African-American art, The Baltimore Museum of Art seeks to bring conversation about this topic through a panel discussion at the Museum on Saturday, November 14 entitled Seeing Color: A Conversation About Race & Art.

It is especially meaningful to convene such a conversation within the context of an art museum. Whether intentionally or less deliberately, artists have frequently addressed challenging topics such as race, identity, and social justice. Artistic expression brings personal interpretation to the consideration of such issues.  Our own points of view are challenged as new interpretations are brought forward challenging our pre-conceptions.   

Rodney Foxworth, advisor for social impact ventures, will moderate a discussion that brings fresh insights to this larger discourse and sheds new light on challenging artworks at the BMA. These include artworks that appear uncritical about racial inequality such as a portrait by John Hesselius of Charles Calvert and His Slave and artworks that confront us by calling attention to racism and social injustice such as Alison Saar’s sculpture Strange Fruit.

The scholars and artists who are participating in the panel will bring a variety of perspectives to the conversation. The panelists are Dr. Sheri Parks, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities at University of Maryland, Dr. James Smalls, art historian and professor at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Ailish Hopper, poet and professor at Goucher College, and Susan Harbage Page, artist and professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

We hope you will join us for this important conversation on November 14, if not in person, then here on the blog. What would you like to know about these artworks and others at the BMA? 

Jay Fisher
Interim Co-Director

You See Out. No One Sees In.

Angels Over Rowhouse Collington - Anna Pasqualucci

Angels Over Rowhouse Collington – Anna Pasqualucci

Elaine Eff, Maryland State folklorist

Painted screens—a Baltimore icon—first appeared in the city 1913, one year ahead of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Their origin is traced to William Oktavec, a Bohemian grocer who painted the screen doors of his corner store with pictures of the produce and meats he sold. From outside, you could not see beyond his handiwork. From inside, you had a clear view to the street.

The virtue of privacy was not lost on his neighbors, whose homes had no buffer from the sidewalk. Little Bohemia was awash with new rowhomes, taverns, corner stores, churches, schools and every amenity required to secure a new community. Soon “Oktavec the butcher,” became “Oktavec the artist,” opening The Art Shop, where he trained his sons and a few chosen apprentices in the art of screen painting.

As business grew, Oktavec borrowed images from calendars and greeting cards to paint the wire mesh. Soon, the red roofed mill or cottage became synonymous with the painted screens, which were in such demand that by the 1960s dozens of artists and dabblers had completed around 200,000 windows and door screens.

Flash forward to the 1980s.
The Painted Screen Society was founded in 1985 as a guild of screen painters, quickly becoming a community and regional non-profit to promote and preserve rowhouse arts. Painters led demonstrations and workshops. Emerging artists worked alongside masters. The Maryland State Arts Council supported apprenticeships through its folklife program, Maryland Traditions. A new breed of painters emerged, whose subjects – abstracts, portraits, and narrative scenes– would have once been unimaginable.

Screens may have diminished in numbers, but neighborhoods like Highlandtown and Canton have kept the tradition alive. Explore Eastern Avenue below Conkling Street, the Patterson Theater, Highlandtown Gallery and DiPasquale’s Italian Deli/Pompeii area for some real surprises. (Walking tour maps are available from HA! and the Painted Screen Society.)

You are invited to try your hand at painting screens at the BMA’s Imagining Home Opening Celebration on October 25, 11am-5pm. Artists Anna Pasqualucci and John Iampieri, both self-taught, bring their memories of discovering screens as youngsters in old Baltimore to bear in their very contemporary work. They share their skill and enthusiasm, as well as the secrets of screen painting.

Elaine Eff has chronicled Baltimore’s unique folk art since the 1970s when thousands of painted screens covered row house windows and doors throughout the city. She will be eager to listen to your memories, and sign the book The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed at Sunday’s event.

Arabbers - John Iampieri

Arabbers – John Iampieri