The iconic neon sculpture Violins Violence Silence by renowned contemporary American artist Bruce Nauman has shone brightly on the side of the BMA’s East Wing since 1984. Nauman’s first public neon work came to the Museum as a gift of the artist’s galleries in recognition of the BMA’s pioneering exhibition of Nauman’s work in that medium. Over the years, time and natural wear and tear have taken their toll on the piece. It was removed in fall 2013 (See images of the dramatic deinstallation.) to be re-fabricated with more up-to-date and durable neon technology.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the gift of Violins Violence Silence and the 100th anniversary of the Museum in 2014, the BMA’s Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art (FoMaCA) organized a series of events to raise the $120,000 needed to restore the beacon-like presence of this 20th-century masterpiece to the BMA and the city of Baltimore.