BMA to Open The Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies

BALTIMORE, MD – On December 12, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will open The Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies, an approximately 2,500-square-foot space on the first floor of the museum dedicated to the study of French artist Henri Matisse. The establishment of the center fulfills the BMA’s long-term strategic goal to increase research and presentation opportunities for the museum’s incomparable collection of more than 1,200 works by the artist—the largest public collection of his work in the world. The BMA has also commissioned artist Stanley Whitney to create a set of three, large-scale stained-glass windows to be installed inside the center and is presenting an exhibition titled Matisse: The Sinuous Line, both debuting with the center’s opening.

Named for a longtime BMA supporter, The Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies includes a dedicated exhibition gallery; a study room and library for curators, scholars, and students; a work space; offices; and storage. The center is designed by Quinn Evans Architects and the cost is approximately $5 million, with additional endowment funds raised to support center staff, research, programming, and ongoing efforts to digitize a vast portion of the museum’s Matisse holdings. The center will be guided by Katy Rothkopf, The Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Director and the Senior Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the BMA.

The exhibition gallery will be named for Jay McKean Fisher, the inaugural director of the center and emeritus senior curator for prints, drawings, and photographs, who retired in 2020 after 45 years at the museum. Fisher curated several acclaimed exhibitions on Matisse and nearly doubled the BMA’s holdings of works by the artist during his long tenure.

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Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies rendering. Quinn Evans Architects