Baltimore Museum of Art hosts Wikipedia Edit A Thon

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Artists express their emotions through art; it doesn’t take a rocket science to figure it out, only understanding.

The Baltimore Museum of Art had numerous activities during February, which is Black History Month. The BMA started collecting African-American art in 1939 and continues to display it.

The museum recently hosted a Wikipedia Edit A Thon, where volunteers from the community learned how to compose, and edit Wikipedia pages for artists who do not have one. Digital Initiative Librarian Jenny Ferretti taught the Wikipedia Edit A Thon. She is artist who works at Maryland Institute of College of Art, and has a lot of experience with leading edit-a-thons around Baltimore. Volunteer’s ranged from John Hopkins University college students to retired Baltimore seniors who love to write.

African American Artists on the View at the BMA

“The New Arrivals: Gifts of Art for a New Century exhibition presents a diverse range of outstanding artworks recently added to the BMA’s collection. It also represents the generosity of many people who have come together to ensure the museum has great works of art to enthrall visitors during its second century and beyond.” Anne Mannix-Brown,  BMA’s senior director of communications and marketing. xxx_edited-1

Joshua Johnson, Joyce J. Scott, and Tom Miller are a few artists who put their trademark in Baltimore. There distinctive work can be found at the Baltimore Museum of Arts.

Johnson, also known as Joshua Johnston, was born in 1763. He was a slave before his talent was recognized.

His father, George Johnston, was white, his mother was a slave. However,  Johnson was sold by his mother’s master, William Wheeler Sr., and by 1818 he was recorded as a Free House Holder of Color. Despite his early life, he became a self-taught portrait painter, eventually painting portraits of children for an income. People assumed he was white because of his all of his paintings were of Caucasians because they were the only ones who could afford to pay for his work. He died in 1832, yet his work is displayed in BMA today.

Scott is known for her beads, thread, wire, and wood art, which are displayed at the BMA. Scott was born in 1948. Her mother, Elizabeth Talford Scott, was a quilt maker who died in 2011. Her father, Charlie Scott Jr., died in 2005; his occupation is unknown. Her artwork is displayed in different states nationwide. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from MICA and a master’s in fine arts from Instituto Allende, San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Miller, who was born in 1945, wrote screenplays and is known for his colorful furniture artwork that is described as “Afro-Deco” style. His father, Clarence Miller, was a tailor and his mother, Frances Miller, was a housewife. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master in Fine Arts from MICA. Prior to receiving a masters degree, Miller taught in the Baltimore Public School System for two decades. He battled with HIV and AIDS for 10 years before passing away in June 2000. He received awards for his work and was recognized in different communities of Baltimore.

“I love that it’s free and has so much to over," said Carol Yoder a retiree who has volunteered at the BMA since 2008. "Most importantly, everyone is welcome."
“I love that it’s free and has so much to over,” said Carol Yoder a retiree who has volunteered at the BMA since 2008. “Most importantly, everyone is welcome.”

“Humor is a strong element in my work. It often helps me confront serious issues,” Miller once said.

BMA experience 

The moment you walk into the BMA the receptionist greets you, and given a brochure of the detailing the art on display. During the Valentine’s Day weekend, people displayed hearts in front of the artwork they admire. Some had few, while others had many. It was clear people admired artists from all over the museum and it was difficult to choose a favorite one.

While walking around the museum, couples admired paintings as others told stories about the history of the artist and their work.

“I love that it’s free and has so much to over,” said Carol Yoder a retiree who has volunteered at the BMA since 2008. “Most importantly, everyone is welcome.”

“I enjoy looking at work whenever we get a chance to get away. Baltimore Museum of Arts is worth visiting,” Ryan Schurtz said while looking at art with his wife, Karrie Schurtz during Valentine’s Day weekend.


The BMA teamed with Google to put art online so it can be enjoyed worldwide.

View the artwork exhibition here.