Baltimore Museum of Art Reopens Main Entrance After Over 30 Years

Rendering of the new Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo: courtesy the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Just in time for its 100th anniversary, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will reopen both its newly renovated American wing and its historic neoclassical main Merrick entrance, designed by American architect John Russell Pope, on November 23. Both are major milestones in the museum’s ongoing $28 million renovation project.

Since 1982, visitors to the institution have been entering through the lobby in at-the-time recently-constructed and more handicapped-accessible east wing (the Zamoiski east entrance, lobby, and gift shop have also been dramatically redesigned as part of the current construction work and will reopen in late September or early October). Now, on the occasion of the museum’s centenary, the BMA will fling open the front doors once more, providing more direct access to the American wing.

“Reopening the historic entrance will be an extraordinary moment during the BMA’s centennial celebration,” said BMA director Doreen Bolger in a press release. “We are looking forward to throwing open the doors and welcoming visitors to a beautiful new presentation of our renowned American collection.”

Named for Dorothy McIlvain Scott, the second-floor American wing has been reinstalled, and features 800 paintings, sculptures, and examples of the decorative arts spanning more than 200 years, presented in a global context. It has been closed for two years during renovations.

“By expanding the approach to American art both geographically and chronologically, the BMA’s reinstallation highlights the deep ties between American art, our nation’s history, and the broader world,” said David Park Curry, the museum’s senior curator of decorative arts and American painting and sculpture in a press release.

Previously, the BMA reopened its contemporary wing in November of 2012. The multi-year revitalization initiative will also tackle the African and Asian art collections in April 2015. A new center for learning and creativity is slated to open in October 2015, marking the final phase of the project.

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