Q: Is the BMA staying open throughout the renovation?
A: YES! Because we want so much to continue to serve our community—and remain connected to our Members, visitors, and donors. We will have a beautiful Matisse exhibition in the Cone Wing this year and exciting, of-the-moment Contemporary art exhibitions in our newly renovated Contemporary Wing. There’s lots of art to see!
Q: How long have you been thinking about reopening the original Merrick Entrance?
A: When I visited the BMA in 1997 to interview for the job I hold now, I stood in front of the grand John Russell Pope building and imagined just how lively the Merrick Entrance could be. I thought of the crowds of people that gather on the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where I spent 15 years as a curator. I felt sure then—as I do now—that the steps in front of the BMA could become Baltimore’s great public meeting place, where people of all ages and backgrounds in our community can come together. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the BMA’s 100th in 2014. The Trustees and staff are very excited about this!
Q: The reopening of the American Wing is just over a year away; what kind of work is being done this fall?
A: I like to say that museums are like icebergs floating in the ocean: you only see the tip rising above the waves, but much more lies below! Behind the scenes, the BMA is a beehive of activity. Demolition on the first floor of the Pope building has peeled away layers to reveal the bones of the original 1929 structure. Curators, educators, and designers are working on new presentations of the collections, and our visitor services team is rethinking the visitor experience—from arrival to departure. And, of course, we are working hard to raise the funds so necessary for this transformation.
Q: How is the renovation being funded?
A: To date, we have raised $21.5 million of the $28 million needed to support the renovation through the In a New Light philanthropic campaign including $11.25 million in capital contributions from the State of Maryland and $2.95 million from the City of Baltimore. We are deeply grateful to the generous donors—government leaders, national and local foundations, and many private individuals—who recognize the impact of the BMA in our community. Your enthusiasm for the Museum’s world-class collection and ongoing transformation galvanizes our efforts to ensure the BMA inspires generations of visitors in the 21st century.
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