Open on Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10a.m. to 5p.m., the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) offers free admission for museum visitors to explore many of its classic exhibits—which is great for those who are looking for free activities while traveling in the Baltimore area. There are some occasions where visitors must pay to view exclusive exhibits or attend events (see for details).What is also great about the BMA is that it offers free guided group tours for schools and for those with disabilities (such as Alzheimer’s disease); as well as shopping and food options, with access to the lower east-entrance book store/gift shop and Gertrude’s restaurant. I recommend that visitors come well before the museum closes so that you get a chance tour the entire museum and also have time to browse the BMA shop and get a bite to eat. Parking is available at the east and west lots for a flat fee of $7 ($5 for BMA Members).
As a first-time solo visitor of the BMA, I noticed that the museum has a perfect blend of past and modern-day artistry. As one of many staples of the Baltimore art community, the BMA houses a diverse artistic collection of American, Native American, European, Asian and African exhibits. Not only does the BMA put much thought into addressing the importance of diversity, it also sheds light on the historical elements that have influenced today’s contemporary artistry.
When I first entered the museum, I expected to see mainly conventional art exhibits with a emphasis on Western cultural traditions; yet I was shocked to see a whole lot more. I was impressed by the variety of works dedicated to African and Eastern traditions as well.
What also caught my attention were the exhibits of African-American artists, Mark Bradford, Maren Hassinger, and Ebony G. Patterson. I admire the works of these artists and their uninhibited use of unique materials, intricate detailing and bright colors to express the social and cultural plights of the Black community.
Overall, I had a great experience visiting the BMA. Seeing a wide-range of exhibits opened my eyes to not only traditional style art, but also contemporary, divergent ideals that pertain to various cultural elements. I would visit the museum again, but this time with a group of friends or family, to gain a different perspective of the exhibits.