BALTIMORE, MD (January 24, 2023)—The Baltimore Museum of Art’s (BMA) Board of Trustees announced today that they have appointed Dr. Asma Naeem as the Museum’s new director following a 10-month international search. Naeem has served as the BMA’s Interim Co-Director, alongside Christine Dietze, since June 2022, and as the Museum’s Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator since 2018. She is widely recognized for her advocacy of women and underrecognized artists, for her scholarship in contemporary and American art, and for her vision and work in collections diversification. She succeeds Christopher Bedford, who served as director from 2016 until 2022. Naeem will begin in her new role as the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director on February 1, 2023, becoming the first person of color to lead the institution.
“The BMA is committed to bringing diversity and equity into every aspect of its work, from the exhibitions and programs we develop to the works we acquire to our internal working culture. Since she joined the museum in 2018, Dr. Naeem has been integral to shaping this vision and to the strides we have made to realize it. Her dedication to this effort and her distinct perspective on how we can continue to create change made her the ideal choice to lead the BMA into the future. We are inspired and excited by the possibilities for our beloved museum with Dr. Naeem as our new director and look forward to our work together,” said James D. Thornton, chair of the BMA’s Board of Trustees.
Naeem will be the 11th director of the BMA, which has come to be known for organizing ground-breaking exhibitions and programs that question traditional art historical narratives and forefront new and underrepresented voices. The museum is actively working to expand the breadth of the collection with more works by women and artists of color, and earlier this month announced the acquisition of 162 historic and contemporary works that support the closing of critical gaps across the full range of its collection departments. In recent years, the BMA has also completed several major renovations, most notably the Stanley Mazaroff and Nancy Dorman Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs and Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies, which both opened in 2021.