Tag Archives: drawing

This image is owned by The Baltimore Museum of Art; permission to reproduce this work of art must be granted in writing. Third party copyright may also be involved.

Top 6 Prints, Drawings, Photographs at The Baltimore Museum of Art

BMA Curatorial Assistant Morgan Dowty took over our Instagram feed this week to showcase some of her favorite images in our renowned Prints, Drawings & Photographs Collection.

In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of her top six picks from the BMA’s collection of 65,000 works on paper:

  1. Morgan Dowty, BMA Curatorial Assistant, signing on from the Department of Prints, Drawings & Photographs to bring you some of my favorite works on paper this week. With 65,000+ works on paper in the collection, there are plenty to choose from! I’ll begin with a favorite suite of engravings by Wenceslaus Hollar, “Diversa insectorum aligerorum,” c. 1646.

[Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, 1607-1677) “Diversae insectorum aligerorum,” c. 1646. Eight etchings. Each approximately: 115 × 180 mm. (4 1/2 × 7 1/16 in.) Garrett Collection. BMA 1946.112.2413-20]

2. Tantalus, Icarus, Phaeton, and Ixion are four mythological figures whose hubris caused them to fall from Mount Olympia. In this suite of the “Four Disgracers,” Hendrick Golzius, master engraver of the 16th century, captures the falling body from all angles.

[Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch, 1558-1617) after Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem (Dutch, 1562-1638). “The Four Disgracers,”1588. Four engravings. Gift of Ruth Cole Kainen, in Honor of Jay McKean Fisher, Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, BMA 2005.47 / Gift of James and Leslie Billet, Baltimore, BMA 1983.11 / Blanche Adler Memorial Fund, BMA 2013.357 / Garrett Collection, BMA 1984.81.137]

3. This album by Charles Norman Sladen is a new one of my favorites. On each page, Sladen includes photographs from a family vacation in 1916 to Great Chebeague Island, which he expands through imaginative pen and ink drawings. Scroll right to see some detail shots!

[Charles Norman Sladen (American, 1858-1949). “Great Chebeague Island, Maine,” 1916. Album of black ink drawings and gelatin silver print collages, bound with leather and fabric cover. The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund. BMA 2001.289]

4. In this self-portrait, Käthe Kollwitz captures her own likeness in just a few precise marks.

This image is owned by The Baltimore Museum of Art; permission to reproduce this work of art must be granted in writing. Third party copyright may also be involved.

This image is owned by The Baltimore Museum of Art; permission to reproduce this work of art must be granted in writing. Third party copyright may also be involved.

[Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1945). “Self-portrait,” 1924. Woodcut. Blanche Adler Memorial Fund, BMA 1956.176]

5. Printmakers often pull working proofs, or test prints, as they develop an image to track their progress. Swipe to compare these two states of Felix Bracquemond’s portrait of the French literary critic Edmond de Goncourt.

[Félix Bracquemond (French, 1833-1914). “Edmond de Goncourt,” 1879-1882. Etching. Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Fenwick Keyser, Reisterstown, Maryland, BMA 1997.19 / Purchased as the gift of the Print & Drawing Society, BMA 1983.76]

6. It’s been a treat to share a few of my favorites this week! If you’re interested in exploring more works on paper, consider making an appointment to visit the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Study Room of Prints, Drawings & Photographs by emailing PDP@artbma.org.

[Arthur Wesley Dow (American, 1857-1922) “Group of Buildings, Dow’s Compound, Ipswich,” /”Garden, Dow’s Home, Ipswich,” / “City Island, New York,” c. 1885-1897. Three cyanotypes. Gift of Susan Ehrens, Oakland, California, in Honor of Jay McKean Fisher, BMA 2015.343-345]

Which image is your favorite? Follow us on Instagram at @BaltimoreMuseumOfArt.

BMA Voices: Sweet Pea

Ellsworth Kelly. Sweet Pea. 1960. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, BMA 1970.4.20. © Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly. Sweet Pea. 1960. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, BMA 1970.4.20. © Ellsworth Kelly

Melanie Harwood, Senior Registrar

Ellsworth Kelly has called his plant drawings “a kind of bridge to a way of seeing that was the basis of the very first abstract paintings.” He is better known for the large abstract works to which he refers, such as the BMA’s Diagonal with Curve II (1978), or Untitled, the steel sculpture in the Levi Garden. They are large flat planes of canvas and metal with very defined edges. Kelly’s drawings of leaves, branches and flowers are not large, but they are comprised of white shapes whose contours are drawn in spare and elegant lines. The drawings are not abstractions of shapes in nature as each one is a very identifiable plant. Kelly has managed to convey shape, substance and even a sense of motion using little more than a thin outline. I’ve always loved sweet peas and find this drawing astonishing as it captures the delicacy and beauty of these flowers with absolutely no color or shading and only minimal line. He has reduced the plant to its intrinsic form and although detail is removed, the essence is there.

Ellsworth Kelly. Untitled. 1986. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of Ryda and Robert H. Levi, Baltimore, BMA 1986.70. © Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly. Untitled. 1986. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of Ryda and Robert H. Levi, Baltimore, BMA 1986.70. © Ellsworth Kelly

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: Robert Rauschenberg’s “Witness”, 1966.

Robert Rauschenberg. Witness. 1966. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. I.W. Burnham II, for the Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, BMA 1967.6. Art © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Robert Rauschenberg. Witness. 1966. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. I.W. Burnham II, for the Thomas E. Benesch Memorial Collection, BMA 1967.6. Art © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Benjamin Levy, Prints, Drawings & Photographs Curatorial Assistant, shares what captivates him about Robert Rauschenberg’s Witness, 1966.


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.

Creating and Creativity: Books to inspire

Looking for inspiration or inspired but can’t quite make the next step? The following books offer a very polite kick in the pants.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
Edited with text by Mason Currey
Confession: I have a weakness for collections like this. Here you will find the day-to-day routines of 160 famous people, as diverse as Francis Bacon and Ben Franklin, Goethe and Gould, Matisse and Melville.  Each of these very creative types summons their personal muse in endless and surprising variation, confronting all those gnarly obstacles like procrastination, earning a living, distraction, self-discipline. Delightful to browse, entertaining, and oddly inspiring.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
Hegarty on Creativity: There are no Rules
Sir John Hegarty has cred as one of the world’s more famous creative minds.  He can also teach. This compact and, not surprisingly, very smartly designed book slips perfectly into a pocket or purse to accompany you wherever. Sage advice for the artist, writer, musician, filmmaker – anyone tapping into their creative self or trying to take that next step.  There may be no rules but here are some guidelines from a master.

hegarty

Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art
Helen Birch
Artist/author Birch believes interest in drawing already has you halfway down the creative path. This nicely formatted volume provides visual examples by contemporary artists working in the astonishing range that is encompassed by “drawing”, including many digital applications. A short but sweet primer on drawing fundamentals rounds out the offering.  The sheer diversity presented is sure to get your eye and brain sparking.

freehand
Grids & Guides: A Notebook for Visual Thinkers
Oh how I love handling this smart little notebook, made up of 144 pages of blank grids in eight repeated variations, itching to be filled. Great for sketching, planning, story-boarding, daydreaming, compulsive list-making. Periodically interspersed throughout are very cool charts on a broad array of topics, my favorite being the orders of architecture and carpentry joints.

Lucien Freud: Eyes Wide Open
Phoebe Hoban
A perceptive analysis of the life, creative process, and inspirations of the great realist painter. In the hands of this excellent writer and through the use of much source material Freud comes alive, largely as a man of compulsions: to gamble, to womanize, but most of all to find and capture that inner essence in all his subjects through paint. The recounting of his longstanding friendship with and admiration for the flamboyant Francis Bacon is a highlight.

 lucienfreud

Paper Play
Gingko Press
A celebration of, or really an ode to, the medium of paper in all its exquisite variations. Primarily a book of images – glorious images – of works from a wide range of international artists and designers, all making small miracles from a material we take for granted and use daily. I knew I needed to own this book about 10 pages in.  Really, human beings are awe inspiring in what we can do.

paperplay

We carry all of these books in the BMA Pop-Up Shop. You can also order them online at shopartbma.org, or via the links above.

Happy reading!