Doreen Bolger Just In


The Baltimore Museum of Art director Doreen Bolger announced yesterday that she will retire from her position on June 30. Serving as director since 1998, Bolger is known for initiating large-scale travel exhibitions, getting rid of general admission fees, broadening education programs and, perhaps most notably, redefining BMA’s artistic focus by emphasizing its esteemed international collection and focusing on modern era art.

During Bolger’s 17-year tenure, BMA developed a series of traveling exhibitions that were accompanied by a scholarly work, including “Joyce J. Scott: Kickin’ It with the Old Masters” (2000) and “Pissarro: Creating the Impressionist Landscape.” (2007-2008) Also under her direction, the museum acquired numerous works by Henri Matisse, along with significant additions to the African, American and contemporary art collections, as well as a wide range of works by African American artists including Henry Ossawa Tanner and Nick Cave.

Bolger’s most recent accomplishments included her leadership in initiating the museum’s physical transformation—BMA is currently in its final phase of a $28 million renovation. Last November, at the start of the museum’s 100th anniversary celebration, Bolger was present for the reopening of the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing and the Robert G. Merrick and Zamoiski East entrances, a milestone she discussed with STYLE. On April 26, the museum will reopen its renovated and expanded African and Asian Art galleries.

“It is wonderful to leave the museum at such a high point in its history. I am honored to have served this amazing institution with such dedicated colleagues, trustees, and volunteers, with so many generous and loyal supporters and patrons,” Bolger said in a press release. “I look forward to the BMA’s continued success—and to my own pursuit of projects I feel passionate about, in this community and in the field.”

An enthusiastic supporter of Baltimore’s art scene, Bolger has served on the boards of the Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, Charles Street Development Corporation, Design Center Baltimore, and Station North Arts & Entertainment District. Before joining the BMA, Bolger held positions at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, and ended her 15-year tenure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as curator of American Paintings and Sculpture.

Bolger was included in our “Women In The Arts” feature in September 2013.

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