Skip to main content

Baltimore Museum of Art sells art to raise funds toward diversity, inclusion

The Baltimore Museum of Art is selling three works that it hopes will raise $65 million. They include one by Andy Warhol.

This is an effort to continue the museum's work with diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

Sign up for our Newsletters

"It's an historic moment for the museum," BMA Director Christopher Bedford said.

While closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the BMA used the time to look internally at how it could more aggressively reflect the ideals on its walls.

The endowment for the future is an ambitious plan. It will dedicate funds directly toward diversity, internal equity and increasing accessibility for the community.

"We're in the grip of a renaissance in this country and that renaissance is being led principally by Black American artists who are redefining the role of artists in society, and we want to make them the leading edge of this institution, which we have done very successfully," Bedford said.

The BMA is taking advantage of a rule change that allows them to use art sale proceeds differently. Its 23 curators decided to sell works by Brice Marden, Clyfford Still and "The Last Supper" by Andy Warhol. The sales are expected to generate approximately $65 million.

Those pieces of art were chosen because they stand to bring in the most money. Plus, the BMA says it has a disproportionate number of white male artists in its collection.

"We distort in the direction of dead white males because that's the history of art that's always been told in civic institutions. So we're not unusual to the extent that, we want to radically correct that to be a more truthful institution," Bedford said.

BMA says $10 million will go to acquiring works from women and artists of color.

The proceeds will also go toward providing a livable wage to its employees and create paid fellowships that could put more curators of color in the industry pipeline. Right now, the permanent collection is free to the public, but the sale of the artwork will allow even greater access.

"We will be open one night per week until 9 p.m. which means people with inflexible works hours can experience the BMA and we will eliminate all charges for changing exhibitions," Bedford said.

Sotheby's will auction the art this fall through public auction and private sale.


Five hurt in 3-alarm fire, reported home explosion in northwest Baltimore

Study suggests coronavirus can live on surfaces; doctors stress importance of hand-washing

Teen charged in 5-year-old half-sister's killing brought back to Maryland

Marylanders view police favorably, but want reform, Goucher College Poll finds

R&R Taqueria closes one location, but owner has other big plans

President Trump again mentions Baltimore in tweet

READ THE FULL STORY:Baltimore Museum of Art sells art to raise funds toward diversity, inclusion

CHECK OUT WBAL:Get all the latest Baltimore news, weather and sports. WBAL-TV brings you the best in Maryland news online, anytime.


Popular posts from this blog

History of Art Timeline

The historical past of art is usually told as a chronology of masterpieces created during each civilization. It can thus be framed as a narrative of high culture, epitomized by the Wonders of the World. On any other hand, vernacular art expressions can even be integrated into art historic narratives, called folk arts or craft. The more intently that an art historian engages with these latter sorts of low culture, the much more likely it is that they will determine their work as analyzing visual culture or cloth culture, or as contributing to fields associated with art historical past, akin to anthropology or archaeology. In the latter cases, art gadgets may be called archeological artifacts. Surviving art from this era comprises small carvings in stone or bone and cave painting. The first traces of human-made gadgets appeared in southern Africa, the Western Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe Adriatic Sea, Siberia Baikal Lake, India, and Australia. These first traces are general…

How to Show Art Work when the Gallery Says No Thanks

There are places in the town where you live where you can show your artwork when the big gallery you solicited said, "No, thanks."
Other artists may need to find venues other than galleries to show their artworks as well. Visual artists living in art-rich communities where there is a lot of local competition will need to get creative about display opportunities.

Or on the other hand, in towns without large art venues, it is important for artists to find smaller and less obvious places to show your art.

How to Show Art Work When The Gallery Says No Thanks

1. Show Where You Go

The most successful approach to finding a place in your town to display your artwork is to solicit a place that you go to frequently. Make a list of all the places you go to each day, each week, and each month.

Make a special trip, or the next time you visit note if the establishment currently exhibits any artwork, if it is local, and if it is for sale.

Also note if they have available wall space where a…

Book review (nonfiction): Form or function? In the history of poster art, the two sides are constantly at war

“Who takes the eye takes all,” said Mary Lowndes of the Artists’ Suffrage League in the early 1900s, neatly summarizing the need for striking graphics on the banners that suffragists were making for their marches. Lowndes’ statement could serve as the motto for all those who attempt to persuade by visual means, be they propagandists for political parties or advertisers selling soap. “The Poster,” edited by Gill Saunders and Margaret Timmers of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, is a beautiful and entertaining account of the history of the medium, illustrated with examples drawn from the museum’s extensive collection.While handbill-sized fliers affixed to surfaces had long been in existence, it was the development of the large-scale color lithographic technique, with images composed of several pieces that could be pasted together into one picture, that made possible the explosion of graphic media campaigns in the 19th century. The first-rate artists who turned th…