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Baltimore Museum Sold Art by White Men to Add Underrepresented Artists to Its Collection

As part of an effort to diversify its collection, the Baltimore Museum of Art has deaccessioned works by white male artists. Proceeds from the sale of seven works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Franz Kline, among others, have been put toward the acquisition of twenty-three new works by underrepresented artists.

Entering the museum’s collection are pieces by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Odili Donald Odita, Amy Sherald, Jack Whitten, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; a sculpture by Wangechi Mutu; prints by Enrique Chagoya, Bruce Connor, Yun-Fei Ji, and Adam Pendleton; films by Isaac Julien, and Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley; textiles by Stephen Towns; and photographs by Harry Callahan, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Kenji Nakahashi, Wang Qingsong, Chuck Ramirez, Toshio Sasaki, Noh Suntag, and Yoshihiro Tatsuki.

“Museums are entering a new era of heightened consciousness of incomplete histories and biases that must be addressed,” said BMA director Christopher Bedford. “In acquiring works by the most significant black and female artists working in the United States, as well as pivotal works from Korea, China, Mexico, and Japan, we hope to not only methodically address previous omissions in our collection but also broaden the canon and historical narrative told through art.”

Bedford added: “By moving towards equitable representation and historical accuracy in our collection, we aspire to become a better reflection of our Baltimore community and lead fruitful dialogue on future museum practices amongst our peers. This group of acquisitions is just the beginning.”