The BMA Looks Forward

2015 Front StepsDirector Doreen Bolger’s retirement at the end of June has prompted the Board of Trustees to begin the search for a new director to lead the BMA as it enters its second century. A committee has been formed to conduct an international search and they are also interested in harnessing ideas from everyone to help them find the next leader for our beloved institution.

BMA Trustee Michael Rosenbaum was named chairman of the nine-member search committee, which is comprised of Trustees with a broad range of public and private sector experience. The other committee members are Clair Zamoiski Segal; former Board Chairs Suzanne F. Cohen, Stiles Tuttle Colwill, and Margot W.M. Heller; and Trustees William Backstrom, Alexander C. Baer, Patricia H. Joseph, and James D. Thornton.

The committee has already had its first meeting and plans to engage an international search firm to ensure candidates are considered from a diverse array of backgrounds, professional experience, and geography. They also want to hear from individuals and groups who are currently or in the past have been involved with the BMA, as well as others who may never even have considered how their interests and concerns connect with those of an art museum.

As of now, they are not yet soliciting thoughts about specific director candidates or qualifications for the new director. Instead, they would be most grateful for your thoughts about the following questions:

  • What do you want to see from the BMA in the coming years?
  • What would you like to see the BMA become in the next decade?

4 thoughts on “The BMA Looks Forward

  1. Jenny Rolling

    I would like to see family activities continue to be strong at the BMA. As someone who has lived close to the BMA for 22 years, first as a JHU student, now as a Charles Village resident, I can honestly say that the BMA did not become part of my life until we had children and came to the free family sundays.

    Now the museum feels like a welcoming, warm and accessible place. Before it did not. It makes me so happy to see children sprawled across the gallery floor sketching art works. The place seems alive more then than other times when silence strangles the experience.

    The staff at the free family sundays is top notch. The materials and projects are great. We go as often as we can. And the inclusivity of it being free is great.

    Thanks

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  2. Craig Hankin

    I think it is essential for the new director to pick up where Doreen leaves off. Specifically, her tremendous support for local and emerging artists, as well as her appreciation for the strength of the museum's permanent collections. In the next decade, I'd love to see the BMA promote its riches in 19th-early 20th-C. painting to the Baltimore community more effectively.

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  3. Joan Sills

    I would like to see more public educational programs in connection with the opening of the new
    galleries. For instance, there was negative publicity in the Baltimore Sun regarding the Sande Society
    masks exhibited in the African collection. The Sun indicated a lack of transparency on the part of the museum regarding female genital mutilation. As African art is different for many Euro-centered visitors in
    at least two important ways: (1) culture is as important, if not more important than the aesthetics, and
    (2) the works on view are mere fragments of the original works, it would be helpful if scholars from
    the community addressed the issues raised by the African collection. Many art historians have already explained the "culture" in their Go-Mobil presentations of specific objects. Other disciplines should be included; for instance, medical experts from the Bloomberg School of Public Health on the issue of
    female "cutting."

    As to American Art, I thought the invitation of scholars from varied disciplines to speak on
    chairs in the American collection was excellent. We can add to that--scholars from different disciplines,
    including but not limited to art historians to speak more broadly about the American Collection, making
    the visitors' experience a contextual one in addition to an enjoyment of the highlights.

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  4. Lou Joseph

    Now that the renovations are completed for the time being, it would be great if the BMA would being more larger-scale contemporary art exhibitions in. The Front Room shows have been great, but it would be really awesome to see more projects like the Franz West retrospective.

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