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Renovated wing of Baltimore Museum of Art to open next month

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The newly re-imagined contemporary wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art opens Nov. 18, completing the first phase of the museum’s three-year, $24.5 million renovation.

The wing, which opened in 1994, features more than 100 paintings (including major late paintings by Andy Warhol, Grace Hartigan and Jasper Johns), sculptures and photographs. It will have new acquisitions; a new black-box gallery for light, sound and moving images; two interactive galleries; and a mobile art guide.

Among its changing exhibitions will be the work of local artists, beginning with the Baltimore-based street artist Gaia, who will create two mural-size works.

“We have gone in and looked at different ways to make the wing a better experience,” museum Director Doreen Bolger says.

Additions include “educational rooms where people can sit down with interactive galleries,” she says. “People can use technology, hands-on material and other kinds of information to connect with works of art.”

Planning for the entire renovation — which will also include changes to the American and African Art spaces, as well as a new lobby and other visitor amenities — began a decade ago and is expected to be completed in 2014, when the museum celebrates its 100th anniversary. It is funded in part by a $10 million, multiyear commitment from the state.

Although some collections are scheduled to close, the museum, which owns 90,000 works, will remain open throughout the construction.

“The renovation of this building is really an effort to make this wonderful museum a 21st-century museum,” Bolger says.

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