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Baltimore Museum of Art and Seattle Art Museum to Present 50-Year Retrospective of Boundary-Breaking Artist Joyce J. Scott

BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Seattle Art Museum (SAM) have co-organized the 50-year career retrospective of artist Joyce J. Scott, one of the most significant artists of our time. Best known for her virtuosic use of beads and glass, Scott has upended hierarchies of art and craft across a spectrum of media over the course of five decades—from her woven tapestries and soft sculpture of the 1970s and audacious performances and wearable art in the 1980s to sculptures of astonishing formal ingenuity and social force from the late 1970s to the present moment. The artist’s works across all media beguile viewers with beauty and humor while confronting racism, sexism, ecological devastation, and complex family dynamics. Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams was developed in close dialogue with the Baltimore-based artist and her collaborators to reveal the full breadth of Scott’s singular vision through more than 120 objects from public and private collections across the United States. The exhibition will encompass significant examples of the artist’s sculpture—both stand-alone and wearable pieces—alongside performance footage, garments, prints, and materials from Scott’s personal archive. The exhibition will also feature a newly commissioned installation currently in development and an expansive scholarly catalog.

Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams will be presented in Baltimore as a special ticketed exhibition from March 24, through July 14, 2024, and in Seattle from October 17, 2024, through January 20, 2025. It is co-curated by Cecilia Wichmann, BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, and Catharina Manchanda, SAM Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, with support from Leslie Rose, Joyce J. Scott Curatorial Research Assistant.

“Joyce J. Scott is a living legend and a pillar of Baltimore’s artistic community, whose multi-disciplinary practice has a profound effect on everyone who encounters it,” said Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “The BMA has had the honor of engaging audiences with Scott’s work for many years through exhibitions, public programs, and acquisitions. We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the Seattle Art Museum to present this comprehensive exhibition that highlights the remarkable range of her career and celebrates the passion, vision, and innovative spirit that pervades her work.”

“The collaboration between the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum epitomizes the boundless spirit of artistic synergy,” said José Carlos Diaz, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art at SAM. “By joining forces with Joyce J. Scott, together we amplify the power of her profound art to transcend geographical boundaries and ignite inspiration across diverse communities.”

Joyce J. Scott: Walk a Mile in My Dreams draws on the BMA’s growing holdings of Scott’s work, from the first acquisition of Nuclear Nanny (1983-84) in 1984 to several recent acquisitions such as Lynching Necklace (1998), Lynched Tree (2011/2024), and rare 1970s artwear garments. The exhibition also embraces SAM’s recent acquisition of War Woman III (2014/2019), a major feat of recent sculpture, as well as Scott’s longstanding engagement with audiences and artists in the Seattle region through residencies at such venues as Pilchuck Glass School.

Joyce J. Scott
Joyce J. Scott (b. 1948, Baltimore, MD) and her work have been the subject of numerous exhibitions, books, and articles. She has received commissions, grants, awards, residencies, and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Anonymous Was a Woman, American Craft Council, National Living Treasure Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts, Mary Sawyers Imboden Baker Award, MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2016), Smithsonian Visionary Artist Award, National Academy of Design Induction, and Moore College Visionary Woman Award, among others. Major solo exhibitions include Joyce J. Scott: Kickin’ It with the Old Masters at the Baltimore Museum of Art (2000); Maryland to Murano: The Neckpieces & Sculpture of Joyce J. Scott at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York (2014-15); Joyce J. Scott: Truths and Visions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland (2015); and Joyce J. Scott: Harriet Tubman and Other Truths at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ (2018). Scott’s work is included in major private and public collections, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Art and Design, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; and Seattle Art Museum, WA; among many others.

Scott earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende in Mexico. In 2018, she was awarded an honorary fellowship from NYU, as well as honorary doctorates from both MICA and the California College of the Arts. In 2022, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.

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Obama Yoda.
2012. Courtesy of Goya Contemporary Gallery, Baltimore
© Joyce J. Scott