Press Release

Artist Amy Sherald to Join Board of the Baltimore Museum of Art

Event Date: 
20 February 2018
Baltimore, MD
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Museum Names Obama-Selected Portrait Artist as New Trustee

Today the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announced that it has named celebrated contemporary artist and Baltimore resident Amy Sherald as a new trustee on the Museum’s board. Sherald will officially take her board seat on February 20, joining Board Chair Clair Zamoiski Segal and Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford, as well as 39 other active trustees guiding the institution. This diverse group is comprised of regional and national leaders in art, philanthropy, and business, including another recently named artist trustee, Adam Pendleton, who joined the board last August.

“As we develop a new strategic plan, it is important to have the voice of artists like Amy on the BMA’s Board of Trustees,” said Christopher Bedford. “Amy will bring a unique perspective to museum leadership, one that not only draws on her career as one of today’s most important artists, but also on her ties to the city of Baltimore itself.”

“The entire board was extremely enthusiastic about having Amy Sherald join us,” said Clair Zamoiski Segal. “We look forward to gaining her insights as an artist and Baltimore resident as we map the future of this great museum.”

Sherald was most recently commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint Michelle Obama’s portrait. She exclusively paints portraits of African Americans in her signature style, which places each subject against a monochrome background, rendering the figure in grisaille that contrasts it against strikingly bright outfits. She has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in the U.S., and her paintings have been featured in numerous group exhibitions presented nationally and internationally.

“I am thrilled to be joining the board of such an important civic institution like The Baltimore Museum of Art,” said Amy Sherald. “The BMA is pioneering the way for institutions to become more inclusive by championing contemporary artists from all walks of life. I am honored to be able to have a voice in helping move the museum forward.”


Amy Sherald (b. 1973 Columbus, GA, lives in Baltimore) received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004), BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997), and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama (1997). In 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition grand prize; an accompanying exhibition, The Outwin 2016, has been on tour since 2016 and was most recently on view at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO. Sherald has had solo shows at the Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago (2016); Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore (2013); and University of North Carolina, Sonja Haynes Stone Center, Chapel Hill (2011). In May 2018, she will present a solo exhibition at Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO. Group exhibitions include Southern Accent, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC and Speed Museum of Art, Louisville, KY; Face to Face: Los Angeles Collects Portraiture, California African American Museum, Los Angeles. Residencies include Odd Nerdrum Private Study, Larvik, Norway; Tong Xion Art Center, Beijing, China; Creative Art Alliance, Baltimore; and Joan Mitchell Foundation, New Orleans. Her work is included in the collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Columbus Museum, GA; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC.


Founded in 1914, The Baltimore Museum of Art is a major cultural destination recognized for engaging diverse audiences through dynamic exhibitions and innovative educational and community outreach programs. The BMA’s internationally renowned collection of 95,000 objects encompasses more than 1,000 works by Henri Matisse anchored by the famed Cone Collection of modern art, as well as one of the nation’s finest holdings of prints, drawings, and photographs. The galleries showcase an exceptional collection of art from Africa; important works by established and emerging contemporary artists; outstanding European and American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts; significant artworks from China; ancient Antioch mosaics; and exquisite textiles from around the world. The 210,000-square-foot museum is also distinguished by a grand historic building designed in the 1920s by renowned American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of 20th-century sculpture. The BMA is located in Charles Village, three miles north of the Inner Harbor, and is adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University. General admission to the BMA is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art. 

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Amy Sherald by Christopher Myers.

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