Black Artists in the Museum shares stories about people and objects that shed light on the historical relationship of African Americans to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Undergraduate students in the Program in Museums and Society at the Johns Hopkins University created the content, and it is curated and edited by their professor, Dr. Jennifer P. Kingsley.

The project runs in partnership with the Baltimore Museum of Art. It offers students a unique opportunity to dig deeply into the processes that elevate some artists and works of art above others and invites them to question dominant art-historical narratives.

A student group visits the Baltimore Museum of Art on the occasion of its 1939 exhibit Contemporary Negro Art.

Baltimore Exhibit, 1939. Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.


In Fall 2017 students unpacked the exhibition Contemporary Negro Art, which took place at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1939 and was one of the first black artist shows in a North American art museum. Students researched the artists, museum staff and community organizers who made the exhibition possible. They investigated artworks from the exhibition, as well as pieces currently in the BMA’s permanent collection. In the summer of 2018, a parallel effort at the Baltimore Museum of Art brings the installation 1939: Exhibiting Black Art at the BMA.