Baltimore’s Largest Museum Is Doing Something Bold and Brave, and a Lot of Conservative Men Are Gonna Hate It

“To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”

Amy Sherald. Planes, Rockets, and the Spaces in Between (detail). 2018. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase by exchange with funds provided by the Pearlstone Family Fund and through a partial gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © 2019 Amy Sherald.

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How can a museum challenge decades of gender imbalance in what it displays to the public? The Baltimore Museum of Art has a plan for 2020: Every painting, sculpture, and photograph it purchases for its permanent collection will be by women.

“We’re attempting to correct our own canon,” museum director Christopher Bedford told the Baltimore Sun. “We recognize the blind spots we have had in the past, and we are taking the initiative to do something about them.”

Every museum should do this, said Bianca Kovic, incoming executive director of the New York–based National Association of Women Artists.

Among the artwork the Baltimore museum has purchased: Planes, Rockets, and the Spaces in Between, a 2018 painting by Amy Sherald, best known for her portrait of Michelle Obama in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Bedford said the Baltimore museum had no choice: “To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”

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I’ll leave you with this image of what the Interior Department’s Twitter feed calls alpenglow at the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in California. Please send links or tips for possible Recharge items to Have a glowing week, and thanks for reading.

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