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Baltimore Museum of Art Acquires Forty-Eight Works by Amy Sherald, Melvin Edwards, and Others

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announced that forty-eight works of art, including paintings by Meleko Mokgosi and Amy Sherald; photographs by Louise Lawler, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Carrie Mae Weems; sculptures by Melvin Edwards and Senga Nengudi; and textiles by Stephen Towns, were added to its collection.

Thirty-five of the works, gifted by Baltimore collectors Mary and Paul Roberts, will go on view in a special exhibition that will open on April 3, 2019 and run until June 30, 2019. It will be presented as a tribute to Mary Roberts, who passed away in November. Among the works donated were pieces by Richard Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, Glenn Ligon, Elizabeth Murray, Gabriel Orozco, Martin Puryear, Gerhard Richter, and others.

Four of the acquisitions were purchased using proceeds from the sale of seven works from the museum’s contemporary collection, which were recently deaccessioned so that the museum could grow its holdings of works by artists of color and women.


The four works are Melvin Edwards’s Scales of Injustice, 2017, which reconstitutes Corner for Ana, one of four site-responsive works he created out of barbed wire and chains for his March 1970 Whitney Museum exhibition; Meleko Mokgosi’s Acts of Resistance I, 2018, a painting, made for a BMA exhibition with the same title, that features a child standing near a wing chair and an Africanis dog and is brimming with South African historical references; Senga Nengudi’s R.S.V.P. Reverie-0, 2015, a sculpture comprising a ready-made metal armature adorned with braided nylons and lengths of pantyhose affixed to the wall, culminating in a sand-filled pouch jettisoned across the floor; and Carrie Mae Weems’s May Flowers, 2002, an artist’s proof from her “May Days Long Forgotten” series, which evokes the work of the nineteenth-century Pictorialists.


“The BMA has now acquired eleven major works of art by women and artists of color purchased in full or in part with funds from the objects that were deaccessioned last spring,” said director Christopher Bedford. “This is just one aspect of the museum’s strategy to broaden the historical narrative of art and build a more diverse and inclusive art experience for Baltimore.”