When the 100-year-old Baltimore Museum of Art throws open its doors to a renovated American Wing on Sunday, November 23, even throwing open those very doors will be part of the celebration.
Some of the museum, including the American Wing, is housed in a grand Beaux-Arts building by renowned American architect John Russell Pope, who also designed the National Archives, Jefferson Memorial, and the National Gallery of Art’s West Building in Washington. As part of a $28 million renovation, the historic Merrick Entrance, which had been closed since 1982, will reopen. After passing through the columned façade, visitors can make their way to the newly renovated Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing, whose galleries hold more than 800 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 18th through 20th centuries.
Highlights of the collection include an entire gallery devoted to the stained glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany; two galleries hung with works by noted American artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, and Joseph Stella; another room showcasing works by Maryland artists or about Maryland; and the installation of late-18th-century interiors from four historic homes in Maryland.
Sunday’s festivities will include a ribbon-cutting, artist demonstrations, art-making for kids, gallery talks, and onsite food trucks. Museum admission is always free.
Whenever you may happen to visit, don’t also miss the works of Henri Matisse in the Cone Collection galleries. With more than 1,000 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures, the BMA has the largest collection in the world of Matisse’s art; currently 36 paintings are on display.