2022 Impact Report
The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art.
View This Year’s Stats
Online Visitors. The BMA’s comprehensive website offers access to our digitized global collection, information about programs and exhibitions, as well as rich video content of lectures, gallery talks, and performances.
Social Followers. The BMA has an increasingly large social media presence among Alabama’s cultural institutions with 99,452 individuals following Museum activities and updates.
Works of Art
A combination of 27,078 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, works on paper, photography, and videos comprise the Museum’s collection of art from around the world which spans from ancient to modern times and includes Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art.
Living Artists in the Collection. As we work to bridge narratives of historical and contemporary times, we continue to grow our collection of work by artists creating today.
Our cherished community partnerships are central to our mission, as we seek to create authentic and meaningful art experiences for Birmingham.
From lectures and master classes to festivals and film screenings, public programs enhance our collection, offering opportunities for greater learning and cultural exchange.
Birmingham Museum of Art. With your support, our Museum has the power to transform Birmingham by connecting all its people to the experience, meaning, and joy of art.
Dear Friends of the BMA
After a year of uncertainty, change, and adaptation, the BMA proved resilient, emerging
with energy and a renewed sense of determination to return to regular operations in the 2021-22 fiscal year. Thanks to our creative and talented team bolstered by the generous and steadfast support of individuals and local corporations alike, the BMA was able to recover from a challenging time from which many institutions are still suffering. As our programs and exhibitions steadily increased, so did our museum attendance, with visitors craving in-person connections with art and one another. The year brought a range of offerings that spanned both time and place: from ancient to contemporary art and with art created on Alabama soil to art created oceans away.
In the fall of 2021, we presented Lost Realms of the Moundbuilders: Ancient Native Americans of the South and Midwest. Organized by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma, and presented in Birmingham with the support of the estate of Mr. Harris Saunders, Jr. and Jean Saunders, the exhibition featured 175 historic objects from four major Moundbuilder sites including Moundville in Alabama. Created in collaboration with several Native American tribal nations, the exhibition was accompanied by a major catalog with contributions by Native American cultural specialists and 17 humanities scholars from nearly a dozen universities and museums from across the United States. Amid waves of the pandemic, we safely welcomed 8,796 visitors to the exhibition and reintroduced our Native American Heritage Festival, sponsored by Medical Properties Trust.
In conjunction with Lost Realms, we were proud to host an exhibition of works by contemporary Native American artists, Voices So True, made possible by a generous bequest of from the late Dr. Clyde Oyster, a professor and research scientist at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and a longtime docent and volunteer at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Ranging in medium from photographs and prints to paintings and basketry, the works in the exhibition explore subjects including memory and identity, the environment, racism, healing from epidemic disease and violence. The exhibition also included the striking photographs from Eugene Tapahe’s Jingle Dress Project documenting an artist’s vision and act of healing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In November of 2020, we were honored to feature Tapahe’s work in the Museum’s biennial Edward M. and Hermione C. Friend Lecture, which included a live performance of the traditional Jingle Dress Dance followed by a presentation and discussion with the artist and the dancers.
Later that month, the BMA held the Annual Chenoweth Lecture, featuring Kaywin Feldman, Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC as its speaker. Feldman shared the National Gallery’s unique but ever-changing purpose as the national art museum, and the challenges and opportunities of transformation along with the American nation.
In the spring of 2021, we introduced a new exhibition opening concept, the ReFrame
Party, a biannual museum-wide opening night, during which visitors can explore all of our recent exhibitions and rotations after hours and free of charge. For the inaugural event, the ReFrame Party centered around the opening of our highly anticipated exhibition, Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen. With striking imagery by artist Manjari Sharma, the exhibition highlighted Hindu deities, by juxtaposing contemporary photography with ancient sculpture. Hundreds of visitors came out to celebrate the opening of the exhibition and enjoyed added entertainment including live music, a sound bath experience, Indian coffee, and gallery talks. We are always honored to host exhibiting artists in Birmingham, but having Manjari Sharma present at the opening weekend was a special treat. The weekend was capped off by the return of our Holi celebration, our most popular BMA event, for which we welcomed nearly 3,000 visitors.
We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all the Museum’s patrons for their critical support, active participation, and unbounded enthusiasm as we emerged from the pandemic and worked together to realize the mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its people to the experience, meaning, and joy of art.