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THE BMA PRESENTS TWO NEW EXHIBITIONS IN SEPTEMBER Morris Louis Unveiled opens September 8 Matisse’s Marguerite: Model Daughter opens September 18

Morris Louis Unveiled—The Baltimore Museum of Art’s newly reopened Contemporary Wing is the setting for an exhibition of more than 25 works that illuminate seldom seen aspects of Baltimore-born painter Morris Louis’s artistic practice. On view September 8, 2013-February 9, 2014, Morris Louis Unveiled was inspired by a gift of two bold, gestural paintings—Silver III (1953) and Untitled 5-76 (1956)—and a number of surprising drawings that came to the BMA last year from the estate of the artist’s widow. These works reveal the artist’s little-known exploration of Abstract Expressionism. Louis’s range of influences is also vividly shown through related works on paper by Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Jackson Pollock. In conjunction with the exhibition, the BMA will present important examples of works by Louis’s influences, peers, and followers, including Helen Frankenthaler’s majestic Madridscape (1959). The era of the Washington Color School is represented through works by Sam Gilliam, Kenneth Noland, Howard Mehring, and Anne Truitt.

Matisse’s Marguerite: Model Daughter—Henri Matisse made more portraits of his daughter than of all the other members of his family combined. On view September 18, 2013 – January 19, 2014, Matisse’s Marguerite: Model Daughter brings together more than 40 prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptures from the BMA and other public and private collections to show Marguerite over the course of 45 years and provide a fascinating glimpse of the artist’s relationship with his only daughter. Born in 1894, Marguerite soon appears in Matisse’s sketches of a little girl 6 or 7. By the time she was 12, Marguerite was a frequent participant in the life of his studio and would often take on important roles in major paintings. Many portraits of her were breakthrough works like Marguerite (1916) that reveal an advance in Matisse’s artistic vision, but she also appeared in pictures of family life and with other models such as in Two Women in a Landscape, Vallée du Loup (1922). Matisse brings much of himself and his own feelings to the portraits of his daughter. Sometimes she appears younger than she is, as if he were reliving her childhood, and sometimes older, as if he were anticipating her aging. He also shows a strong personal absorption with the character of his daughter—whether she was a model or the subject of a portrait dressed with an eye to fashion—and reveals something about himself in the process of creating his art.

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