Arts District

BMA showcases newly renovated African and Asian art galleries

Collections have more space, improved lighting, and new displays

By Gabriella Souza | April 21, 2015, 4:53 pm

A display of African masks allows visitors to see them from all sides. -Courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art
Arts District

BMA showcases newly renovated African and Asian art galleries

Collections have more space, improved lighting, and new displays

By Gabriella Souza | April 21, 2015, 4:53 pm

A display of African masks allows visitors to see them from all sides. -Courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art

First, you'll notice the light. Brand new LED bulbs illuminate the Baltimore Museum of Art's African and Asian collections in such a way that they make the colors on a vase more brilliant, the intricate carving on a headdress more eye-popping.

Next, you'll realize the space seems larger, which is true. The ceilings are higher, and these renovations have added three times as much room to the African art galleries and nearly twice as much to those with Asian art.

Most of all, you'll feel more connected to the works, thanks to new ways of displaying them.

Hundred-year-old masks are showcased on stands that allow you to see all sides. And a 15th-century bronze sculpture of the Chinese goddess of mercy sits on an altar-like perch jutting out from the wall, so you can better admire her magnificence.

The acclaimed African and Asian art galleries re-open to the public April 26, marking the latest piece of the museum's $28 million renovation. It's included the contemporary and American art wings, as well as a new east entrance and lobby.

Director Doreen Bolger told members of the media at a tour Tuesday that she wanted the galleries to feel more open to visitors so they could have "transformative encounters with works of art."

"These galleries have never looked better than they do now, I'm convinced," she said.

Curators have also organized the works more thematically, instead of by geography or time period. For instance, Chinese ceramics that served as eating dishes are grouped in one case, and utensils for philosophers in another.

This allows visitors to draw connections between the pieces, Bolger said. "It makes things more engaging."

The BMA is holding opening events for both galleries. You can find more information here.




You May Also Like


Arts District

Baltimore Rock Opera Society Puts On First-Ever Halloween Show

Lurid Happenings adds magic and performance to the BROS annual October bash.

Charmed Life

Baltimore Musician Hunter Hooligan Debuts Song at New York Fashion Week

"Pink" served as the soundtrack to designer Stevie Boi's rose-tinted vision.

Arts District

New Documentary About Rapper M.I.A. Premieres at the Parkway Theatre

The film offers insights about the life and activism of the genre-bending artist.


The Chatter

Steve Geppi Unveils Collection at Library of Congress For the First Time

Baltimore magazine publisher offers a preview of rare comic art that goes on display next week.

The Chatter

Get an Inside Look at City Architecture with Doors Open Baltimore

The fifth annual event shows off 60 unique buildings and neighborhoods.

Arts & Culture

No Filter

Writer Kondwani Fidel talks about new book Hummingbirds in the Trenches.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Music Lovers Share Memories of Record and Tape Traders: As the iconic Towson record store prepares to close its doors, customers look back on its 40-year run.

Four Takeaways From Maryland Midterm Election: Hogan is easily reelected, but no Republican coattails in the state.

University of Maryland Coach D.J. Durkin Fired: The board president also resigns in tumultuous week in College Park.

Ben Jealous Rallies With Dave Chappelle and Rosario Dawson In Gwynn Oak Park: Democratic gubernatorial challenger continues push in upset bid.

Fitness Instructors Share Tips on How to Jumpstart Your Morning Routine: If you've always wanted to be a morning person, here's how to get up and attack the day.