Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) Debuts New Narratives of American Art with Arctic Artistry and American Modernism

BALTIMORE, MD – In July, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will open two new installations of American art from its collection that center works by Native American, immigrant, and underrepresented artists. The presentations include a substantial reinstallation of the museum’s renowned American Modernism collection and the exhibition Arctic Artistry, which features 20 rarely shown objects by Indigenous artists of the North American Arctic. Opening on July 13 and July 17, respectively, the installations reflect the BMA’s ongoing commitment to challenging long-standing art historical narratives and expanding the range of artists recognized for contributing to the evolution of art. At the same time, they capture the museum’s focus on its collection as a critical source for new, diverse, and inclusive storytelling.

American Modernism
From July 13 through September 2024, two thematic galleries in the BMA’s Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing will examine anew what it meant to be “American” and “modern” during the cultural and social upheavals that occurred between 1900 and 1950. The new American Modernism galleries will feature approximately 60 objects, emphasizing the voices, experiences, and artistic contributions of Native American, immigrant, and historically underrepresented artists. Among the objects are new acquisitions, treasured works that have not been on view in recent years, and a rotating selection of rarely displayed works on paper.

Arctic Artistry
From July 17, 2022, through January 8, 2023, Arctic Artistry will explore the evolving roles of Indigenous artists of the North American Arctic through 20 rarely shown objects from the BMA’s collection. Artists are esteemed among the Yup’ik, Iñupiaq, and Inuit people, and their work has continually responded to and reflected the needs of their changing communities. Historically, Indigenous artists who lived in the Arctic lands created ritualistic and utilitarian objects whose beauty was meant to honor the beings that sustained life in the harsh climate. As an influx of explorers, missionaries, whalers, and gold prospectors arrived to their lands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Indigenous artists became vital economic forces that sustained their communities by producing art, including model kayaks and cribbage boards made for sale to non-Native markets.

More information: https://artbma.org

Irene Avaalaaqiaq (Canadian Inuit). Frightened by the Land Spirits. c. 1994. Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Eunice K. Lipkowitz, Washington, D.C., BMA 1998.485. © Irene Avaalaaqiaq

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