Mason School of Art | Zoë Charlton: BMA Announces Acquisition of More Than 100 Objects and Suites Across Media, Culture, Geography, and Time
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Zoë Charlton: BMA Announces Acquisition of More Than 100 Objects and Suites Across Media, Culture, Geography, and Time

Zoë Charlton: BMA Announces Acquisition of More Than 100 Objects and Suites Across Media, Culture, Geography, and Time

Twenty works from P. Bruce Marine and Donald Hardy Collection strengthen holdings of Black artists from the 19th through 21st centuries

BALTIMORE, MD (June 29, 2023)The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announced today that it has acquired more than 100 objects and suites during winter and spring 2023. The broad range of works reflect the BMA’s ongoing commitment to diversify its collection across time, media, and culture; to bring forward new and under-recognized voices from across the globe; and to uplift artists with ties to Baltimore and the surrounding region. Among the major highlights is a purchase and promised gift from the P. Bruce Marine and Donald Hardy Collection that significantly enhances the museum’s holdings of paintings and works on paper by Black artists from the 19th through the 21st centuries. The BMA purchased from the collection Charles White’s extraordinary 1938 drawing Peace on Earth, which depicts the Red Summer race riots of Chicago in 1919 and is an important example of the artist’s impact on the graphic tradition as a vehicle for messages of social justice. The work joins The Voice of Jericho (1958), a powerful print by White of his friend Harry Belafonte already in the BMA’s collection. The Marine-Hardy Collection also gifted 19 works to the BMA by John Henry Adams Jr., Edward Mitchell Bannister, Eldzier Cortor, Viyé Diba, David DriskellJohn FarrarKojo Griffin, Seydou KeïtaJoe OverstreetCharles Ethan Porter, Laura Wheeler WaringPhilemona Williamson, and others. Together, these works allow the museum to narrate the achievements of African American and African diasporic artists more fully within the art historical canon.

Among the rich selection of works by artists connected to the Baltimore region are paintings by Linling Lu and Zéh Palito; mixed-media works by Charles Mason IIIDevin N. MorrisLavar Munroe, and Elizabeth Talford Scott; works on paper and photographs by Bernhard HildebrandtZoë CharltonLouis Fratino, and Elena Volkova; and sculpture, garments, and jewelry by Joyce J. Scott. The BMA also acquired objects by Omar Ba, Darrel Ellis, and Elle Pérez, who were featured in recent exhibitions, as well as works by Larry W. Cook Jr. and Steffani Jemison from the critically acclaimed presentation A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration.

Object Highlights

Zoë CharltonWrist Bands (Spirit Squad Series), 2021, and Blue Flip-Flops (Immortal Series), 2022 Baltimore-based artist Zoë Charlton (b. Eglin Air Force Base, FL) created the Immortal and Spirit Squad series to consider the diffuse possibilities for genealogical research available for African Americans because of forced migration as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Through the use of charged cultural objects such as African masks, she calls into question the conundrum of Black American identity forged through archival absences, but also a constant negotiation of land and belonging. Whether they are worn or consumed, the masked figure repairs such temporal and ancestral fissures by returning and privileging the body as a site for knowing.

Excerpts taken from the BMA Press Release: June 29, 2023 – Read the full article here

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