The weather is cold, but with new exhibits packed with cultural sensory overload, there’s never been a better time to go out and explore what your local museum has to offer.
Baltimore Museum of Art
‘Spencer Finch: Moon Dust’
Through October 14, 2024
Installed in February 2018, Spencer Finch’s impressive light installation Moon Dust (Apollo 17), first presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale, will illuminate the BMA’s majestic Fox Court for the next seven years. Hanging from the ceiling, the 417 lights represent the chemical composition of moon dust as it was gathered during the Apollo 17 mission.
‘1 West Mount Vernon Place’
After a comprehensive renovation, the museum’s Hackerman House building at One West Mount Vernon Place is once again open to the public. The 19-century mansion’s many stunning features include a grand spiral staircase, Tiffany stained-glass skylight and carved wooden bookcases. Installations at Hackerman House will feature new works from community art projects and contemporary artists, along with ceramics from around the world. As visitors walk through the space, a free app will allow them to explore the stories of Hackerman House’s inhabitants, enslaved and free servants, architects and builders.
American Visionary Arts Museum
‘Parenting: An Art without a Manual’
Through September 1, 2019
Bringing together historic, l’dor v’dor, traditional and transcultural wisdom right beside the latest scientific insights from expert brain and behavioral research, Parenting: An Art without a Manual explores all types of parenting, from the animal kingdom to the role of grandparents, teachers, and foster and adoptive parents. Examined through art, humor, historic text, and first-hand testimony, this exhibit looks at parental influences and the projected trajectory of changes in future families.
Maryland Science Center
Pint-size archaeologists can work in “dig pits,” touch dinosaur skulls and measure bones and footprints. The Science Center also features hands-on science experiments and an observatory with a telescope.
Jewish Museum of Maryland
‘Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini’
Through January 21, 2019
Learn the incredible story of how Hungarian Jewish immigrant, Ehrich Weiss, transformed himself into international superstar Harry Houdini. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to try out some of Houdini’s magic tricks, including the world’s smallest version of Houdini’s biggest illusion – making a five-ton elephant “vanish.” On display will be artifacts from Houdini’s life including a straightjacket he escaped from and a personal diary documenting his travels through Maryland.
The College Park Aviation Museum
‘Another Field of Firsts: African American Aviators of Prince George’s County’
College Park is not the only “Field of Firsts” in Prince George’s County. In 1941, John W Greene and Dr. C. M. Gill became the first African-Americans to operate a licensed airport in Maryland. The Columbia Air Center operated from 1941-1956, on land that is now part of Patuxent River Park. Learn about the evolution of the airport as a haven for African-Americans interested in flying to hosting the first black Civil Air Patrol squadron in the region.
‘1968: Civil Rights at 50’
Through January 27, 2019
1968: Civil Rights at 50 explores the tumultuous events that shaped the civil rights movement in 1968, when movement leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, unleashing anger and anguish across the country. The exhibit also traces the dramatic social and political upheavals that formed the backdrop to these events, from anti–Vietnam War protests to the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and a defiant protest for human rights at the Mexico City Olympics.
Mexican Cultural Institute
Through January 29
Complexity and vigorous juxtaposition are the hallmarks of this group show featuring more than 40 works by contemporary Mexican artists. Paintings range from the abstract to the photorealistic. Collage is a common technique, incorporating everything from shards of porcelain to borrowings from Picasso. And “stone” sculptures turn out to be made of wax, resin, paper, cardboard and fiberglass. The art on view belongs to the Mexican government, which acquired it through an innovative program that enables artists to pay their taxes with their own creations.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Through February 10, 2019
The celebrated American luxury fashion house Rodarte, founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, is featured this fall in the first fashion exhibition organized by NMWA. Rodarte showcases the designers’ visionary concepts, impeccable craftsmanship, and profound impact on the fashion industry.
National Building Museum
Through October 14, 2019
Flickering Treasures invites visitors to travel in time through a survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to present, using photography, oral histories, and architectural fragments.
The Phillips Collection
Through January 13, 2019
Nordic Impressions is a major survey of Nordic art spanning nearly 200 years and presenting 53 artists from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as the self-governing islands of Åland, Faroe, and Greenland. The exhibition celebrates the incredible artistic diversity of Nordic art, from idealized paintings of the distinctive Nordic light and untouched landscape to melancholic portraits in quiet interiors and mesmerizing video works that explore the human condition.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
‘Temples and Shrines in Japan: Woodblock Prints by Kawase Hasui’
This exhibition features twelve woodblock prints by Japanese artist Kawase Hasui (1883-1957). Selected from nearly 700 Hasuiprints donated to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by René and Carolyn Balcer, these works focus on scenes of temples and shrines across Japan, celebrating their sacred architecture and connections between people and nature.
Virginia Holocaust Museum
‘Break Glass: The Art of V.L Cox – A Conversation to End Hate’
Through her art, Cox aspires to spark conversation about civil rights and equality, while also exploring the persistence of hate and injustice in America today. Her work is often born in cathartic response to contemporary events and shaped from her own personal experiences growing up in Arkansas. “Personal conversations, with respect to one another, need to be had before we can move forward together,” Cox said. “There used to be a time when people could agree to disagree with civility, yet still have things in common. We need to find that place again.”
‘Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia’
Through January 5, 2020
“Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” a special yearlong exhibition, explores little-known, captivating personal stories of real women in Jamestown and the early Virginia colony and their tenacious spirit and impact on a fledgling society. This story-driven special exhibition features artifacts, images, interactives and primary sources – some on display in America for the first time – to examine the struggles women faced in the New World and their contributions.
National Sporting Library and Museum
Through March 24, 2019
Sidesaddle, 1690-1935, will present a revealing perspective on the history and culture of women as equestrians, their depictions in sporting art, and the evolution of sidesaddle tack and attire represented in British, Continental, and American art from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The exhibition will showcase over sixty paintings, works on paper, and sculptures on loan from museums and private collections.
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Arts
Through February 2, 2019
The allure of water has always been a powerful draw for artists. Water can be meditative and reflective, and yet equally powerful and destructive. As coastal dwellers our relationship with the surrounding waters is deep and multifaceted. Waterways celebrates the work of six artists as they explore the environmental, social, cultural and imaginative qualities of this vital resource.