If you are planning a trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art, be sure to leave plenty of time to take a stroll through the sculpture garden. The BMA gardens are a total of three acres and include two terraced gardens and a total of 34 sculptures. Featuring sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder, the gardens include art as impressive as what visitors will find on the inside of the museum. One of the most popular features of the garden is the Wurtzburger Sculpture area. This part of the garden is filled with modern and contemporary sculpture and highlights early 20th century work.
Officially known as the Janet and Alan Wurtzburger Sculpture Garden the area features a flagstone terrace and a fountain. Strolling through the sculpture garden is serene and peaceful, and an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors while still learning about art. Included in the garden's sculpture collection is work by modern master Emile-Antoine Bourdelle. His figural Fruit completed in 1911 is impressive. Also included in the collection is Henry Moore's abstract Three Piece Reclining Figure No. 1. Literally named, the structure was created between 1961 and 1962. Max Bill's granite interpretation of the Mobius strip is one of the most popular sculptures in the entire garden. The sculpture is called Endless Ribbon and was completed in 1953.
A tour of the garden can be a silent, meditative stroll, or an educational experience. Visitors can download the Baltimore Museum of Art's podcast to their personal digital audio player and learn about each piece in the garden as they move along. The podcast includes commentary by the BMA director, the BMA Objects Conservator, and sculptor Mark di Suervo. BMA trustee Peggy Heller is also featured on the podcast. Ms. Heller was lucky enough to grow up with the Wurtzburger collection right in her backyard prior to its donation to the museum.
Summer time is one of the best chances people have to visit the museum. The Jazz in the Sculpture Gardens event allows people to enjoy the art of the museum and the gardens while relaxing and listening to jazz music. The music is played in an intimate concert setting, and visitors are encouraged to relax and unwind. Picnics are available for purchase, or guests are free to pack their own food. You can also make reservations at the museum restaurant, Gertrude's. Named for his grandmother, Gertrude's is owned by Baltimore native John Shields. The restaurant opened in 1998 and features a variety of local classics utilizing regional ingredients. Featuring delicacies like crab imperial, Rockfish, eastern shore produce, and their special crabcakes, the restaurant claims to offer these Maryland favorites with sophistication. In addition to Jazz in the Sculpture Gardens, Gertrude's offers a jazz evening of their own on Fridays, along with Wine Wednesdays, and Tuesdays with Gertie. Guests can enjoy many popular menu items at a reduced rate.
Admission to the Wurzburger Sculpture Garden is free, and the garden is open during regular museum hours. You will not regret a lazy stroll through the gardens on your next trip to the BMA.