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Baltimore Museum of Art acquires 48 new works, some with funds from sale of major pieces

The Baltimore Museum of Art has acquired 48 new paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and textiles, including four works purchased with money raised earlier this year through the sale of several major pieces owned by the BMA.

The acquisitions, announced today by museum officials, include paintings by Meleko Mokgosi and Amy Sherald; photographs by Louise Lawler, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Carrie Mae Weems; sculpture by Melvin Edwards and Senga Nengudi; and textiles by Stephen Towns. Also included is a gift from Baltimore collectors Mary and Paul Roberts of 35 prints, drawings, and photographs, with works by Richard Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, Glenn Ligon, Elizabeth Murray, Gabriel Orozco, Martin Puryear, Gerhard Richter and others.

Four pieces were purchased using some of the nearly $8 million raised by selling or auctioning off works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and others. That money was raised with the primary intent of using it to acquire the works of modern female artists and artists of color. In June, the museum announced the acquisition of several such pieces, including “Planes, rockets, and the spaces in between,” the first painting Baltimore-based Sherald made after she did her official portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama.

The four pieces acquired using proceeds from the sale are the Edwards sculpture “Scales of Injustice," the Mokgosi painting “Acts of Resistance I,” the Nengudi sculpture “R.S.V.P. Reverie-0” and the Weems photograph “May Flowers.”

“The BMA has now acquired 11 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,” Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, said in a release. “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.”

Other pieces destined for the museum include Sherald’s painting “The Rabbit In the Hat,” Mel Bochner’s drawing “Study for Duple," Wolfgang Tillman’s photograph of John Waters, “John, Provincetown,” and Anne Truitt’s painting “Summer ’86, No. 6."

The Roberts collection includes post-war paper works from Richard Diebenkorn, Ellen Gallagher, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Agnes Martin, John McLaughlin, Elizabeth Murray, Gabriel Orozco, A.R. Penck, Martin Puryear, Gerhard Richter and Frank Stella.

Pieces from the Roberts collection will make their BMA debut at an exhibition scheduled for April 3-June 20, 2019. Edwards’ sculpture will be displayed this summer as part of a solo exhibition of his work opening in late July. Pieces by Mokgosi, Nengudi and Sherald have been exhibited previously, but are not currently on view.*

*This article has been updated to reflect the status of some of the new pieces.

ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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