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Focus on Female Creativity

2020 Vision is the Baltimore Museum of Art's year of exhibitions and programs dedicated to the achievements of female-identifying artists. The initiative encompasses 23 group and solo exhibitions. Highlights include Mickalene Thomas: A Moment's Pleasure, a major monographic survey of abstract expressionist artist Joan Mitchell, and the reinstallation of several of the museum’s galleries to emphasize the depth and diversity of women’s artistry through time.

These presentations will be supported by a wide range of public and scholarly programs that will foster dialogue on women’s contributions to art history and the development of many of the artistic institutions that we know today. The museum has also committed to exclusively purchasing works by female-identifying artists during 2020 and will explore objects across genre, style, and medium in every collecting area.

2020 Vision is part of the BMA’s mission to address race and gender diversity gaps within the museum field, and to represent more fully and deeply the spectrum of individuals that have shaped the trajectory of art.

The initiative also builds on the museum’s efforts over the last several years to expand its presentations of female-identifying artists and artists of color to more accurately reflect the community in which it lives. The acquisition strategy serves to further acknowledge that women have yet to attain equal representation at major museums and is a step toward rebalancing the scales within the BMA’s collection to better reflect women’s contributions to art history and contemporary practice.

Support 2020 Vision

Our Sponsors

The 2020 Vision installation of the Contemporary Wing is generously sponsored by BGE, Constellation and Exelon.

2020 Vision is generously sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women and PNC Foundation.

Our Purchases

Acquiring More Art by Women

In purchasing only works of art by female-identifying artists in 2020, the BMA is confronting deficits in our collecting practices historically that in turn represent extraordinary opportunities for growth in the future. We are planning to spend more than $2.5 million toward this effort and will announce the acquisitions in late June and December 2020.

Programs & Events

All events are free unless otherwise noted. Please visit the events section of artbma.org for the latest information on all programs and events listed below.

Community Day

Sunday, March 15, 1-5 p.m.
Join us as we celebrate the opening of Candice Breitz: Too Long, Didn't Read and the presentation of 2020 Vision in the Contemporary Wing. Enjoy artmaking, interactive demonstrations, performances, and more.

Donald Bentley Annual Memorial Lecture:
Anna Deavere Smith

Thursday, April 30, 7 p.m.
Enjoy an evening with legendary performer Anna Deavere Smith as she speaks to the connection between the arts and the renewal and revialization of civic life. This event is presented in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University's Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts.

The Necessity of Tomorrow(s)

Wednesday, May 13, 7 p.m.

The next installment of the BMA's signature conversation series celebrates 2020 Vision with a discussion about next-wave feminism and forms of resistance with Tarana Burke and Nadya Tolokonnikova.

Founder of the #MeToo Movement, Tarana Burke has dedicated her life to social justice work and giving strength to those who experienced sexual trauma or harassment.

Nadya Tolokonnikova is an artist, political activist, and founding member of Pussy Riot. The feminist protest art collective has been one of the world's most prominent art groups in recent years, bringing attention to human rights violations in Russia and abroad.

The Necessity of Tomorrow(s) is generously sponsored by Suzanne F. Cohen and the Cohen Opportunity Fund.

(Women) Artists

We are asking female-identifying Baltimore area artists to tell us, from their perspective, what it means to be an artist. What should it mean?

Se Jong Cho

I am adding my story to the human narratives that define our existence. This is about taking control of our destiny because our future is founded on our present reality. Art is like a mirror that reflects our reality. On this mirror, I want to see women's stories reflected as legitimate and equal part of our history.

When I hear ‘women artists’ I immediately think of the empowering opportunities we create. I also think of a binary and the historic friction in the arts between men and femmes of all, or no, genders. As a curator, I see a pathway for more femme voices in the city of Baltimore and global art communities.

Joy Davis

Megan Lewis

Being a woman artist means holding myself up to the highest narrative and visual standards possible. Imagery is very powerful and can carry through time. Making sure I’m representing black women’s images correctly, being true to myself, and how my work is seen is very important to me. It’s a different feeling when a woman artist tells a story. It feels more connected to me. It’s the ability to tell a story that only we can tell.

I have had specific experiences that result from the fact that I was assigned female at birth in 1980, but I don't always know what it means to be a woman in the first place, not to mention being a woman and an artist. I tend to think of my gender expression as a performance even though it matches my gender assignment. The fact that these two things—my gender assignment and my gender expression—usually match affords me many privileges in the world, even while people who identify similarly have not achieved equality to cisgendered white men in the art world or in the world at large. There's a lot of nuance to this conversation, but my experience of my own gender identity and how it feels internally vs. how it is received externally is inextricable from my practice as an artist, as a queer person, as a parent, and as a human being alive right this minute.

There are a lot of incredible people who have made work that has been interpreted through the framework of the category ‘woman artist.’ (Some of my personal heroes include Ruth Asawa, Judy Chicago, Senga Nengudi, Leonora Carrington, Louise Bourgeois, Mona Hatoum, Ana Mendieta, Carrie Mae Weems, Ann Hamilton, Kara Walker, Claude Cahun, perhaps not a 'woman' but actually nonbinary or trans masc, the list could go on and on.) But this category is only useful to the extent that a person identifies in that way, and that they feel it's relevant to understanding their work. At its best, it can provide context that can deepen our understanding of someone's work, but at its worst can be used for tokenization or to erase other aspects of a person's identity, or to act as an exclusionary category. It's a delicate process, the work of developing a language for discussing how one's identity affects their work.

Bonnie Crawford


BMA Communications
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218-3898

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