BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is proud to present A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, a groundbreaking exhibition that explores the profound impact of a pivotal time in American history through the perspectives and works of 12 acclaimed Black contemporary artists. Featuring new commissions by Akea Brionne, Mark Bradford, Zoë Charlton, Larry W. Cook, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates Jr., Allison Janae Hamilton, Leslie Hewitt, Steffani Jemison, Robert Pruitt, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, and Carrie Mae Weems, the presentation is both communally resonant and deeply personal. Each of the artists researched and reflected on their connections to the South, migration, ancestry, and land, resulting in an extraordinary range of artistic endeavors across media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, video, sound, and immersive installations. The exhibition is particularly meaningful for Baltimore, which was and continues to be shaped by this critical migration of people, and several of the artists have connections to the city. A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration is co-organized by the BMA and Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) and co-curated by Jessica Bell Brown (she/her), BMA Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art, and Ryan N. Dennis (she/her), MMA Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum’s Center for Art and Public Exchange. It will be on view at the BMA from October 3o, 2022 to January 23, 2023, having debuted at the MMA in April 2022.
The historic phenomenon known as the Great Migration saw more than six million Black Americans leave their homes in the rural South for cities across the United States between 1915 and 1970. This incredible movement of people transformed the economic, cultural, social, political, and ecological makeup of the country. The impact of the Great Migration spurred a flourishing Black culture and also established a new cadre of artists, writers, musicians, and makers. Co-curators Brown and Dennis believe that the story of the Great Migration is neither complete in its current telling nor finished in its contemporary unfolding.
“We invited artists whose practices engage with personal and communal histories, familial ties, the Black experience, and the ramifications of land ownership and environmental shifts to consider how we can expand our understanding of this essential moment in American history,” said Brown and Dennis. “The research, explorations, and dialogue have resulted in an exhibition that primarily underscores reflections on family. It posits migration as both a historical and political consequence, but also as a choice for reclaiming one’s agency as the works examine individual and familial stories of perseverance, self-determination, and self-reliance. We hope viewers will experience the incredible variety of artistic expression in A Movement in Every Direction as a meditation on ancestry, place, and possibility,” added Brown and Dennis.
General admission to the BMA is free. The BMA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays until 9 p.m. The Sculpture Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to dusk. The museum and gardens are closed New Year’s Day, Juneteenth, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The BMA is located at 10 Art Museum Drive, three miles north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For general museum information, call 443-573-1700 or visit artbma.org