The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is home to what many consider the largest collection of works by Henri Matisse in the world, with over 1,200 pieces by the artist. On Thursday, the BMA announced that it would be establishing a research center dedicated to the study of Matisse, funded by a $5 million donation from the Ruth Carol Fund. Named for the philanthropist who created the fund, the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies will open by 2021.
The 3,500 square foot research center will take over the BMA’s first floor. Christopher Bedford, director of the museum, stated that the goal is to create “something like a think tank focused on Matisse,” and that they hope to “establish a brain trust within the institution.” He added in a statement,
With the opening of the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies, we are creating new opportunities to engage our audiences with our collection and to spark new interests and conversations on Matisse’s influence on modern and contemporary art practice.
The center will serve as a substantial resource for scholars. Yves-Alain Bois, an art-historian and Matisse expert, told the New York Times that the center could greatly magnify what we know of Matisse’s life and legacy. He said, “Unlike Picasso, who really has been enormously studied, the bibliography on Matisse is not huge.”