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February 07, 2016
May 08, 2016
The BMA celebrates the evolution of its world-class collection with this stunning exhibition of
more than 200 artworks—many on view for the first time—including masterworks by Degas, Kelly,
Magritte, Matisse, Rodin, and many others given to the BMA during its enormously successful
Campaign for Art. This is the first major exhibition for the BMA since the museum began its multiyear
renovation, completed in October 2015. Nearly every area of the collection is represented
with objects spread across geography, culture, chronology, and medium.
The exhibition includes many objects shown in groupings that juxtapose works already in the
collection with those recently acquired, making surprising connections and providing a glimpse of
the museum’s discerning selection process. Some objects are perfectly matched, such as two
paintings by the French Post-Impressionist Pierre Bonnard that depict the same basket of fruit
from two different perspectives and a rare pair of late 18th-century demi-lune tables acquired 35
years apart. Others groupings are four impressions of Nocturne, a magnificent 1879-80 etching by
James Abbott McNeill Whistler and eight miniature bronze animals by Antoine-Louis Barye. Some
of the most dramatic works in the exhibition include René Magritte’s enormous bronze Delusions
of Grandeur (1967), Liz Whitney Quisgard’s nearly 12-foot long needlepoint Wall Hanging: 42
Circles (2005), Grace Hartigan’s arresting oil on canvas, Pallas Athena—Fire (1961), and an ornately
carved walnut sideboard displaying a variety of brilliant contemporary glass objects.