This fall, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will present the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the singular forty-three-year friendship between Baltimore collector Etta Cone (1870-1949) and French modern master Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Their relationship laid the foundation for the BMA’s Matisse collection, which with more than 1,200 paintings and works on paper is the largest public collection of the artist’s work in the world. A Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore will include more than 160 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and illustrated books that demonstrate how Cone’s bond with the artist provided her with a sense of identity, purpose, and freedom from convention.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a scholarly catalog that includes research on the formal, technical, and social aspects of their artistic and collecting practices, as well as Cone’s seminal role in bringing European modernism to the United States. On view October 3, 2021–January 2, 2022, the exhibition precedes the December 2021 opening of the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies at the BMA, which will allow for greater public and scholarly engagement with the museum’s Matisse collection.