Museum PR Announcements News and Information


BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announces a promised gift of approximately 375 works from John Waters’ fine art collection. The long-planned bequest is rich in photographs and works on paper with important examples by 125 artists, including Diane Arbus, Richard Artschwager, Thomas Demand, Nan Goldin, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Lozano, Christian Marclay, Catherine Opie, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Gary Simmons, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Christopher Wool. The collection also includes nearly 90 prints, sculptures, mixed-media, and video pieces by Waters, making the BMA the greatest repository of the Baltimore-based artist’s work. The gift follows Waters’ close collaboration with the museum on its major retrospective of his visual art practice, titled John Waters: Indecent Exposure, which opened at the BMA in fall 2018. In recognition of Waters’ generosity and to capture the spirit that pervades his work and vision, the museum will name The John Waters Restrooms in the East Lobby—per his request—and The John Waters Rotunda in the European art galleries.

“John’s generosity, friendship, and commitment to his hometown are boundless. We are deeply grateful to him for entrusting us with his collection and for giving us the opportunity to engage our many audiences with it. We look forward to collaborating with John on the presentation of his collection gift and to finding new ways of sharing the stories and experiences that it holds with our community,” said Clair Zamoiski Segal, the BMA’s Board Chair.

The BMA is widely recognized for its substantial prints, drawings, and photographs collection, which includes 65,000 works across a broad range of time periods and geographies and encompasses two-thirds of the museum’s overall holdings. The John Waters Collection is a restricted gift with works by an incredible array of artists and represents in depth the work of Vincent Fecteau, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Peter Hujar, Mike Kelley, Jack Pierson, Karin Sander, and Richard Tuttle. These works greatly enrich the BMA’s collection and allow the museum to further enhance its focus on an area of scholarship that distinguishes the institution. The gift is further animated by Waters’ creative sensibilities and his long-standing personal relationships with many of the featured artists, making it a particularly singular contribution and one that builds on the long legacy of important collection gifts to the museum, including the Cone Collection, Lucas Collection, and Wurtzberger Collection, among others.

The announcement of this important collection follows the BMA’s release in September that it has received $5 million from longtime museum supporters Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff to establish a center dedicated to the presentation, study, and preservation of its prints, drawings, and photographs collection. The approximately 7,000-square-foot Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, which will live on the museum’s first floor and open in fall 2021, provides new and prominent gallery space for the presentation of this work. The establishment of the center ensures that the works in the John Waters Collection gift will remain in active rotation within the museum’s public displays. The BMA plans to present a comprehensive exhibition of works from the gift in the center’s galleries within the next five years.

The BMA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Sculpture Gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to dusk. The museum and gardens are closed New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. General admission is free. Special exhibitions may be ticketed. The BMA is located at 10 Art Museum Drive, three miles north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
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The Baltimore Museum of Art