redefining art, again and again
Ah, the age-old question: what is art? Everyone seems to have his or her own opinion. One may say art is an infectious, emotional link between artist and audience, another will posit art as form and content, while a third just wants something pretty for their walls. Near Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, you’ll find museums dedicated to every definition possible. So in essence, we’re all correct.
The Walters Art Museum emphasizes ancient art, with a collection drawn from 50 centuries of Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Islamic and medieval European work. Look for a Greek sarcophagus with a carved head resembling Elvis Presley, the King of Rock. Should your tastes skew towards modern, consider Maryland’s largest museum – the Baltimore Museum of Art. Masterpieces by Matisse, Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and Renoir adorn the walls. Pop art and Impressionism are represented as well, with works from Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Monet and Degas.
For the postmodern aficionado, there is The Contemporary Museum. Here, thought-provoking and intellectually challenging multimedia works put forth the notion that art is a catalyst for progressive social change. And for kids of all ages, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum celebrates the colorful art form that has emerged from comic strips and comic books over the past 100+ years.
Over at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the largest African-American museum on the East Coast, art is but one of many means to preserving, documenting and exhibiting the rich contributions of African-American Marylanders. Ponder a permanent collection that comprises nearly one hundred objects of African art and material culture, including masks, decorative items and household implements.
For a definition of art from an illustrious author and poet, visit The Baltimore Poe House and Museum – once the home of Edgar Allen Poe. Said Poe: “Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it 'the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.' The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of 'Artist.'” The “non-artists” over at the American Visionary Art Museum may concur. This is the museum that applauds self-taught individuals, who, without formal training, express themselves intuitively and passionately. These are artists who will probably tell you that art is non-definable. Find the museum under Baltimore's most beloved outdoor sculptural landmark: a 55-foot (17-metre) tall brilliant, multicolored wind-powered sculpture. Is it art? It doesn’t really matter. For in Baltimore, art is simply art.
Interested in any or all of the aforementioned museums? They’re 10 minutes or less from the Hotel; turn to the Concierge for directions. The Concierge will also be pleased to highlight special exhibitions, and if you ask nicely, offer yet another viewpoint on art.