Projected lights, sounds, and reflective surfaces convey a sense of flowing water in Oletha DeVane’s installation, Traces of the Spirit, presented inside the BMA’s Spring House. The exhibition references the building’s past as a dairy and place where enslaved people were forced to labor and creates an altar-like location for a selection of the artist’s spirit sculptures. For these totem-like objects, DeVane (American, b.
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Starting with early portraiture, “Reflections: A Brief History of Looking at Ourselves” is a new exhibition exploring themes of identity and place that are at the cornerstone of human experience and widely examined in contemporary photography. The year-long exhibition draws from the Maryland Historical Society’s photograph holdings, including daguerreotypes, salt prints, glass negatives, silver gelatin and digital prints.
Beauty stops us in our tracks. It makes us pause, look, consider. Sometimes it overwhelms us. We are often told art should aspire to this standard and be proportionate, symmetrical, naturalistic, and orderly. But what of work that is designed to revolt and terrify? Across subSaharan Africa, artists working across a range of states, societies, and cultures deliberately created artwork that violated conceptions of beauty, symmetry, and grace—both ours and theirs. Subverting Beauty features approximately two dozen works from sub-Saharan African’s colonial period (c.1880-c.
For more than 30 years, New Orleans-natives Keith Calhoun (b. 1955) and Chandra McCormick (b. 1957) have been documenting life in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Known as “The Farm,” the prison was founded on the consolidated land of several cotton and sugarcane plantations. Slavery, The Prison Industrial Complex includes poignant photographs and videos that record the exploitation of men incarcerated in the maximum-security prison farm while also showcasing their humanity and individual narratives.
MacArthur award-winning artist and Baltimore icon Joyce J. Scott’s earliest art lessons were at the knee of her mother, the renowned fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. The eldest Scott passed down to her daughter knowledge inherited from generations of craftspeople in their family who had honed their expertise and persisted in their artistry through the extreme deprivations of slavery and its aftermath in sharecropping, migration, and segregation. “They couldn’t buy things,” Joyce J. Scott recounts, “so they made things.
Every Day: Selections from the Collection is the BMA’s first reinstallation of its contemporary collection centered on black artistic imagination. Nearly 50 works of painting, sculpture, video, printmaking, and photography from the BMA’s permanent collection, alongside a select group of loans primarily from the celebrated Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection, foreground the critical contributions black artists have made to postwar visual art.
This exhibition is on view through March 2020. The MdHS museum is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm, and on Sundays, 12 pm-5 pm.
The exhibition features one-of-a-kind appliqué quilts created by Baltimore-native Mimi Dietrich. Ms. Dietrich is one of Maryland’s and the nation’s most accomplished quilters. In 2015 she was inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana. “Hometown Girl” tells Ms. Dietrich’s story as a life-long Marylander and Baltimore native, and draws inspiration from the many students she has taught over her 35-year career.
From a charcoal drawing and spare and subtle watercolors to thickly painted bold explorations of color and form on canvas, this exhibition explores how a selection of European and American artists from the BMA’s collection depicted nature in the early 20th century. Many took inspiration from the previous generation. Some were drawn to the Impressionists’ fascination with a realistic yet modern depiction of light and color captured at a particular moment in time.
Whether performing the masterworks of Scott Joplin or the score to Star Wars, Martin Spitznagel is truly at home on the piano bench.
A sought-after performer and decorated composer, he found success early, winning a Yamaha Disklavier at the age of 14 in Calliope Media’s nationwide Crazy for Ragtime competition. His entry, chosen from the hundreds of submissions by a panel of judges that included world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, coincided with the centennial of the birth of ragtime music in 1897.