The museum’s Asian art collection includes works from China, Japan, India, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and the Near East. The collection is particularly known for its Chinese ceramics, with a particular depth in mortuary wares from the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and utilitarian stoneware from the 11th through the 13th centuries. Although more than 1,000 objects are comprised in this collection, because of limited space, only a portion of the pieces are on display at one time. Works are on view in rotating installations in the museum’s Julius Levy Memorial Gallery.
Some notable works in the collection include the life-sized early-15th-century bronze Guanyin, known widely as “Goddess of Mercy”; the robust figure of a horse from a Han dynasty tomb; a 39-piece mortuary retinue, a rare example of the quantities of clay figures that were placed in tombs during the early Tang dynasty; and an outstanding foliate-shaped brush washer that represents the mastery of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain. Asian art is also represented in other areas of the museum’s collection, including 475 Japanese prints and 1,000 textiles from across Asia.
The BMA’s collection of Asian art includes more than 1,000 objects comprised of works from China, Japan, India, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and the Near East.
The strength of the collection resides in Chinese ceramics, with a particular depth in mortuary wares from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and utilitarian stonewares from the 11th through the 13th centuries.
a beautiful 15th-century Ming dynasty Brush Washer
a 13th-century Song dynasty blackglazed Wine Jar with Resist Decoration
a 17th-century Zun-shaped Vase Decorated with Figural Scenes
a 15th-century life-sized bronze Water-Moon Guanyin
a large 15th-century Cizhou Storage Jar
a magnificent early 8th-century Figure of a Striding Camel
an 18th-century Serving Plate composed of 12 dishes that fit together in the form of a flower, made for the 60th birthday of China’s Kangxi Emperor
Asian art is also represented in other areas of the BMA’s collection, including 475 Japanese prints and 1,000 textiles from across Asia.
The presentation of the Asian art collection conveys 2,000 years of innovation by Chinese artists from 2nd century BCE to today, and the impact that has had on cultures around the world. These two galleries, featuring ceramics, furniture, paintings and bronze, jade, and lacquer objects, provide us with an opportunity to better showcase the beauty and strength of the BMA’s Asian art collection.
Baltimore Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, is an art museum that was founded in 1914. While founded with a single painting, today the BMA has over 95,000 works of art—including the largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse. Collection highlights include a selection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; works by contemporary artists; significant artworks from China; Antioch mosaics, and a collection of art from Africa. The BMA’s galleries showcase examples from one of the nation’s collections of prints, drawings, and photographs and textiles from around the world.The museum also has a landscaped 2.7-acre sculpture garden. The museum encompasses a 210,000 sq. ft. building that was originally built in 1929, in the “Roman Temple” architectural style, under the design of famous American architect John Russell Pope. The museum is located between Charles Village, to the east, Remington, to the south, Hampden, to the west; and south of the Roland Park neighborhoods, immediately adjacent to the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University, though the museum is an independent institution that is not affiliated with the university.
The highlight of the museum is the Cone Collection, brought together by Baltimore sisters Dr. Claribel (1864–1929) and Etta Cone (1870–1949). Accomplished collectors, the sisters amassed a wealth of works by artists including Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Manet, Degas, Giambattista Pittoni, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Renoir, nearly all of which were donated to the museum. The museum is also the permanent home of the George A. Lucas collection of 18,000 works of French mid-nineteenth-century art, which has been acclaimed by the museum as a cultural “treasure” and “among the greatest single holdings of French art in the country.”
The BMA is currently led by Director Christopher Bedford, who was appointed in May 2016, after a year-long search. Prior to joining the BMA, Bedford led the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Massachusetts for four years. He helped the Rose Art Museum out of international controversy in 2009 when, during the economic recession, the museum proposed selling off their top-notch art collection to help with its struggling finances.
The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 95,000 works of art—including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.
The Museum has a long tradition of collecting the art of the day, beginning with the Cone Sisters, whose acquisitions from living artists lead the Museum’s commitment to contemporary art.
Since October 2006, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum (formerly Walters Art Gallery), have offered free general admission year-round as a result of grants given by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and several foundations.