Tag Archives: Nick Cave

We heart art!

Auguste Rodin. The Thinker. Original model 1880; this cast 1904‑1917. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Jacob Epstein Collection, BMA 1930.25.1

Auguste Rodin. The Thinker. Original model 1880; this cast 1904‑1917. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Jacob Epstein Collection, BMA 1930.25.1

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.

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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!

Our Visitor Services team loved being part of #heartsforart.

Our Visitor Services team loved being part of #heartsforart.

Much love for Nick Cave. Soundsuit. 2013. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Fanny B. Thalheimer Memorial Fund, and Ellen W. P. Wasserman Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2013.325. © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Much love for Nick Cave. Soundsuit. 2013. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Fanny B. Thalheimer Memorial Fund, and Ellen W. P. Wasserman Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2013.325. © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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

Edgar Degas. Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Original model 1881; this cast 1919‑1921. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Alice Morawetz Bequest Fund, BMA 1943.1

Edgar Degas. Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Original model 1881; this cast 1919‑1921. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Alice Morawetz Bequest Fund, BMA 1943.1

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BMA Voices: Hearing Art

Nick Cave. Soundsuit. 2013. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Fanny B. Thalheimer Memorial Fund, and Ellen W. P. Wasserman Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2013.325. © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Nick Cave. Soundsuit. 2013. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Fanny B. Thalheimer Memorial Fund, and Ellen W. P. Wasserman Acquisitions Endowment, BMA 2013.325. © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Kristen Hileman, Curator & Dept. Head of Contemporary Art

I wonder what people hear when they see one of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, like the BMA’s example from 2013. Can a silent piece of visual art really elicit an auditory response? In order for me to imagine what the artist’s suits might sound like, I have to invoke a third sense…that of touch. I think about how it would feel to put a suit on and move around, perhaps even dance the way that the artist himself and others have in Soundsuit performances.

The BMA’s particularly elaborate piece was not created to be worn. The bodysuit of crocheted doilies is stitched on to a mannequin and the stunningly ornate headpiece is too heavy and fragile to allow any mobility if a person could manage to lift it onto his or her head. Nevertheless, if it were possible to dress in this sculpture, the lively rustling of the many beads would proclaim one’s presence. And being suited in such fantastical garb might give the wearer the permission and audacity to say things that he or she might otherwise keep silent. An old-fashioned gramophone speaker seems positioned by the artist for just such a purpose—the annunciation of bold ideas or projecting shouts of joy.

Cave has talked about how the Soundsuits relate to issues of identity and expression. By covering one’s body with such an otherworldly suit, one disguises skin color (and in some cases gender), creating an opportunity to express oneself free from the prejudices of others. The works also suggest the tradition of Carnival—a period during which certain practitioners of Catholicism dress in costumes or masks and engage in mischievous behavior before the arrival of Lent and with it a time of reflection and penance. Other cultures also use masks and dance for performance and rituals. Throughout Africa and the Diaspora, for instance, costumes are employed to transform their wearers into spiritual figures, empowered to covey religious or moral ideas, or into satirical representations of familiar cultural and political personae.

Cave, who has a background in both modern dance and visual art and is a Professor in the Department of Fashion Design at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, only realized the importance of sound to his art after he tried on his first sculptural suit made from twigs that he had collected in a park. That recognition has led to an exciting and unique practice that combines actual and implied sound and movement with Cave’s one-of-a-kind visual sensibility.

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.