Take a peek at The Baltimore Museum of Art’s newly renovated American Wing with Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and American Painting & Sculpture David Park Curry. In addition to beautiful images of the galleries and one of the finest collections of American Art on the East Coast, you’ll hear the candid perspectives of students from Lakeland Elementary School who tell us that visiting the BMA is “better than staying home and watching TV.”
Are you free for an hour on Saturday, March 28 or Sunday, March 29?
We’re looking for families with children ages 5-10 to evaluate a family guide for the new American Wing. In appreciation, you’ll receive $10 to The BMA Shop.
To sign-up, please email Jessica Braiterman.
This painting of a familiar-looking museum interior caught our eye on Twitter recently, so we contacted the artist to find out more about it. Kirsten Savage lives in Colorado but grew up in Maryland and received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. She told us, “Baltimore is still close to my heart and I have many fond memories of wandering the galleries and special exhibitions at the BMA with my family and friends.”
The sculpture in the painting is Aristide Maillol’s Torso of Summer, 1910-1911 (cast before 1960), from the Alan and Janet Wurtzburger Collection (BMA 1966.55.15). It is currently on view in Antioch Court.
We love seeing how people respond to the BMA. If you’ve been inspired by the collection or the building, let us know!
Do you think you’ll marry soon? Why did you come to an all-female college? Can you be more sexually free here than politically or intellectually?
Artist Sharon Hayes, acclaimed for her politically charged live performances and video works, asks these and other insightful questions to a group of college-aged women in the mesmerizing piece Ricerche: three, opening on Sunday March 15 in the BMA’s Robert and Ryda H. Levi Gallery.
The 38-minute video, which received a special mention from the Golden Lion award committee at the 2013 Venice Biennale, explores changing perspectives on gender and sexuality through the eyes of 36 students attending Mount Holyoke, an all women’s college in western Massachusetts.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Hayes returned to her hometown this past fall for the first portion of a residency at The Johns Hopkins University. She visits again in early April to continue her meetings with JHU students and to perform a live piece. The artist expects that her time in Baltimore will also inform another installment of what she intends to be an on-going series of works. Titled Ricerche (the Italian word for research or investigation) and inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964 film Comizi d’amore (Love Meetings). For that film, Pasolini, like Hayes, acted as both documentarian and interviewer, asking Italians to discuss their attitudes about sex.
This is the BMA’s third collaboration with JHU’s Center for Advanced Media Studies, which brings internationally recognized media artists to Baltimore. This year’s project includes a new partner—JHU’s Museums in Society program, extending the reach of the artist’s topical examination of collegiate sexual identity.
Black Box: Sharon Hayes is on at the BMA from March 15 – October 11, 2015. It has been curated by Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman and presented in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Media Studies and the Museums in Society program.
Interview with Sharon Hayes at the 55th International Art Exhibition, where she received a special mention from the Golden Lion award committee.
While we’re always excited to acquire new works of art, some additions to the collection are particularly meaningful. Today, we’re very pleased to share the news that René Magritte’s 1967 sculpture Delusions of Grandeur was recently added to our collection of modern art.
The work came to the BMA as a gift of National Trustee Sylvia de Cuevas, and is the first sculpture by Magritte to enter the collection. The Belgian artist created this monumental bronze during the last year of his life and there are very few casts of it. It will be displayed, beginning this week, in a gallery with works by Magritte’s contemporaries: Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, André Masson, and Joan Miró.
We are thrilled to welcome this remarkable sculpture into the BMA’s celebrated collection of modern art. This imaginative artwork so well represents Magritte’s unique vision and is sure to become one of the most memorable artworks on view here.
BMA Director Doreen Bolger
René Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967) is best known for his surrealist paintings, which place ordinary objects in unusual contexts, often giving new meanings to familiar things. Delusions of Grandeur is one of a series of large bronzes that Magritte produced at the end of his life with the encouragement of his friend and dealer Alexander Iolas, who was the uncle of de Cuevas.
Much like his 1962 painting on the same theme, the work appears as a classical torso of a female figure emerging as though in telescopic form, or like a Russian matryoshka doll, each of the three segments nestled within one another. He has incorporated the theme of enlargement and reduction in this bronze with more of the figure seen in the smallest segment and less in the largest, creating a strong image of the female form.
Earlier this week, the Guardian published a piece on Magritte to mark the anniversary of his birth. Describing the artist as a “surrealist comic”, it explores the humor found in Magritte’s work. Does Delusions of Grandeur carry on this comedic tradition? You’ll have to come in and see for yourself.
Delusions of Grandeur is on display now at the BMA.
The Broken Jug
After William Merritt Chase
Look, sweet one, how she is obeying
a bargain not to be still life
How she’s been posed on the verge of speaking
yet kept silent; I don’t wish this for you.
Look, here the artist abandoned alabaster
for an earthen jug, simple clay, the color of us,
and the hills behind nearly bruised to black
set on horizon as if in the past
we must remember. Knuckle on knuckle,
that’s not the grasp of prayer. Her broken heirloom
that midwifed milk, wine watered down, whatever
drowns thirst, left on the road like a baby
doll after a war. Look, little one, how she will not
look at us. Unease on wooden shoes painted
a potato’s yellow. She’s never heard the word bastard
until a moment before dropping her jug. I imagine
her peeling potatoes down to white
while her father scrapes black ice
tobacco from his pipe, her mother dying
this scrap cloth a dull yellow
to wrap her newly womaned waist.
That wisp of a headband more red than watermelon flesh.
Steven Leyva was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared in The Fiddleback, The Light Ekphrastic, The Cobalt Review, and Little Patuxent Review. He is a Cave Canem fellow, the winner of the 2012 Cobalt Review Poetry Prize, editor of the Little Patuxent Review, and author of the chapbook Low Parish. Steven holds a MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he teaches in the undergraduate writing program.
This poem by Baltimore-based poet Steven Leyva was written in response to William Merritt Chase’ Broken Jug, c. 1876. We welcome guest writers to our online discussions of art of the modern era, from the 19th century to the present. If you are a local creative writer who has been inspired by a work of art in the BMA’s collection, and would like the opportunity to be published on the BMA Blog, email BMASocial@artbma.org.
Last weekend, we celebrated Valentine’s Day at the BMA by asking visitors to share their love for art, and place a paper heart on the floor in front of an artwork crush. We had a great time watching people decide which works of art deserved their love. One couple wandered around the BMA for hours, hearts clutched in their hands, debating which work was their favorite. Dozens of children ran up to the Welcome Desk multiple times, unable to choose only one work of art to love.
In three days, there were 1705 hearts placed next to the works of art. From that, your most loved works were:
61 hearts Auguste Rodin The Thinker Original model 1880; this cast 1904-1917
48 hearts Edgar Degas Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen Original model 1881; this cast 1919-1921.
29 hearts Nick Cave Soundsuit 2013
28 hearts Louis Comfort Tiffany Window: Baptism of Christ c. 1897
23 hearts Henri Matisse Purple Robe and Anemones 1937
23 hearts Pablo Picasso Mother and Child 1922
20 hearts Auguste Rodin The Kiss Original model c. 1880-1881; this cast before 1923
20 hearts Dario Robleto American Seabed 2014
19 hearts Hugh Finlay Center Table 1820-1830
18 hearts Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot Thatched Village (Flesselles, near Amiens) 1864
Visitors were also invited to photograph their heart and favorite work of art, and post to Instagram or Twitter, tagged with #artbma #heartsforart for a chance to win a BMA Catalogue. We are pleased to announce that @draloysius (Twitter) was the winner. We’ll be in touch to discuss how you can collect your prize.
Thank you everyone who participated in #heartsforart. We loved seeing what you love. It made our week!
This Valentine’s weekend, share your love for art with #HeartsforArt. Museums all over the country are inviting visitors to show their love for a favorite work of art by placing a paper heart on the floor in front of an artwork crush. Spread the love by photographing your heart and favorite work, and posting to Twitter or Instagram using #artbma #heartsforart.
How it works:
Step 1: Pick up a paper heart at the Welcome Desk.
Step 2: Place the heart on the floor in front of a work of art you love.
Step 3: Photograph your heart and favorite work of art, and post to Instagram or Twitter, tagged with #artbma #heartsforart for a chance to win a BMA Catalogue.
We’ll announce the winner next week on Instagram and Twitter.
Follow the hearts throughout the museum to see what brings others to say “I do”, or see what art-lovers across America are passionate about by following the #heartsforart hashtag on social media.
Will you play hard to get and visit all of the galleries before choosing your favorite or be direct and go right to ‘the one’? We can’t want to see what you fall in love with.
Over the past 100 days, we’ve taken you on an insider’s exploration of the BMA’s collection through the eyes of its curators, conservators, and registrars. We’ve seen objects from all over the world, including Mali, Japan, Italy, and America; we’ve looked at paintings and prints, record players, decomposing fruit skins, and delicate textiles. The project has highlighted some of our favorite, amusing, unusual, and obscure objects.
Now it’s time to discover your favorite pieces in the BMA collection. To celebrate our 100th Anniversary, we invited everyone to vote for their favorite artwork from a group of 100 selected by the Museum’s chief curator, with voting closing on December 21.
From December 22, we’ve been counting down the top 10 works of art on social media, one each day until the end of the year. Today, we reveal the number 1 work of art in our collection according to you.
So, what do you love? Your favorite works of art are:
- Edgar Degas. Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Original model 1881; this cast 1919‑1921.
- Auguste Rodin. The Thinker. Original model 1880; this cast 1904‑1917.
- Striding Lion. Syria (present-day Turkey). 5th century.
- Henri Matisse. Interior with Dog. 1934.
- Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte‑Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry. c. 1897.
- Dan Flavin. Untitled (To Barnett Newman for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”). 1993‑1994.
- Georgia O’Keeffe. Pink Tulip. 1926.
- Paul Gauguin. Vahine no te vi (Woman of the Mango). 1892.
- John Frederick Kensett. View on the Hudson. 1865.
- Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. Princess Anna Alexandrovna Galitzin. c. 1797.
To celebrate our 100th Anniversary, we invited everyone to vote for their favorite artwork from a group of 100 selected by the Museum’s chief curator. Your 2nd favorite work in the BMA collection is Auguste Rodin. The Thinker. Original model 1880; this cast 1904‑1917.