BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the largest collection of artwork of it’s kind in America, and it’s on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA).

“Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art” explores the contributions black artists have made to abstraction from the 1940s to the present time.

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“I think the exhibit is spectacular,” Myrna Goldberg, of Baltimore, said.

Made up in part from the extensive collection of Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida, the exhibit features 73 pieces of art from 28 artists, including Baltimore native Shinique Smith.

Christopher Bedford is the Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Co-Curator of Generations.

“So the whole idea is to say, this is a history of abstraction that you’ve never seen before,” Bedford said.

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While the colors on the canvas offered little hint of the color of its creator, some of the artists still faced discrimination.

“I hate to be so incredibly direct about it, but I think it’s a symptom of racism, plain and simple,” Bedford said. “The idea in the black community at that point was, in order to be represented in museums we must see ourselves, in the most literal sense.”

Exhibits, like Generations, is looking to change that.

“This is a black-majority city,” Bedford said. “I think this city has been waiting a long time for this museum to turn and face that story and that’s what we’re doing.”

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The exhibit will be on display through January 19, 2020. They will be offering free admission on the weekend of October 26-27, and the weekend of November 23-24.

Sean Streicher