News

Phase I Exterior Renovations Complete

The Peale Center Board of Directors is pleased to report that Phase I of the building restoration is complete. The Department of General Services (DGS) of the City of Baltimore has increased its level of service as far as maintenance and repair to the building in the past year. Major maintenance items have included the installation of a security alarm system for about $10,000; installation of a new chiller for $30,000; and a new boiler for about $36,000. Beyond these big-ticket items, other maintenance work is ongoing in the amount of about $10,000 per year with an additional $10,000 per year going to utilities. WiFi has been installed in the building. Phase 1 of the restoration—a new roof and exterior masonry repair—has been completed at the cost of $700,000. This was paid for by the City of Baltimore. This work was identified as the highest priority because it will stop water infiltration to the building and will abate ongoing damage.

The Phase II renovations will be complete in Spring 2018, including restoration of the windows and doors, exterior woodwork, and original entrance plus floodproofing has begun. The costs of roughly $337,000 are being paid by the Peale Center thanks to the generosity of its supporters.

Fundraising is still underway for the Phase III renovations of the building’s interior. These include new restrooms, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, a café, plaster and paint restoration as well as the addition of an elevator and accessible entrance.

Help us restore the Peale and make it accessible for all! Please give generously to the Campaign to See Baltimore in a New Light

New Galapagos Gala: A Soiree Among the Specimens

Join Submersive Productions and the cast of H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musæum on Tuesday, December 12th from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. for a party at the speed of thought! One night only! Get your tickets to the Dec 12 Gala, and don’t miss the show, Nov 16-Dec 17.

During the Gala, explore and tour at your leisure all four floors of our otherworldly art installation. Sip themed creative cocktail concoctions. Meet, greet and dance with the show’s creators and other fans and supporters. Partake of the personalized cutout silhouettes and Charles Wilson Peale selfie station. Enter to win a door raffle for unusual artifacts. Get the first crack at our silent auction of objects from the show. Sights and sounds abound!

Hosted by Baltimore’s burlesque drag legend Betty O’Hellno as the Marchesa Luisa Casati! Rumor has it that the Marchesa, a wealthy and eccentric heiress, had a brief and stormy courtship with H.T. Darling during one of his sojourns to Rome. Offer her a drink or two and the stories should start to roll off her tongue.

Who wants to go to another fundraiser gala where people sit around tables and watch speeches? Submersive is raising funds for current and future artworks, and we want to enjoy our New Galapagonian atmosphere with you while we do it.

Fancy and/or alien dress encouraged (but not required).

Check out the Facebook Event.

Birdland and the Anthropocene closes and Doors Open at the Peale this weekend!

Birdland and the Anthropocene closes Sunday October 29, but not before the Peale welcomes participants to Doors Open Baltimore Saturday and Sunday Oct 28-29 from 10am-4pm. Saturday see the exhibition until 6pm and then join the closing costume party from 7pm until latre.

Can’t make it? Check out the reviews of Birdlanddownload the catalogue, and stay tuned for the online exhibition…

This exhibition is supported in part by a Green Grant from BGE.

The National Federation for the Blind screens “Do You Dream in Color?” film at the Peale November 1, 2017 6-8pm

Image courtesy of the makers of “Do you Dream in Color?” and the National Federation of the blind.

The National Federation for the Blind announced today that it will screen the new documentary film about blind teens, Do You Dream in Color?, at the Peale Center on November 1, 2017 from 6-8pm. The film aims to inspire and increase understanding among educators and the public about how blind teens are confronting and overcoming discrimination. The screening of the critically acclaimed documentary is free and open to the public.

Connor wants to be a sponsored skateboarder. Sarah wants to travel the world. Nick dreams of being a rock star. Carina wants to be the first member of her family to graduate high school.

These four teenagers are each trying to achieve their dreams. But they face an additional challenge: they are blind.

The documentary depicts the problems that blind students experience in public schools and other challenges that they face due to low expectations and misconceptions about blindness.

“Watching this film made me more determined to fight for blind kids, like my own, against a public education system that too often fails them,” said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “The National Federation of the Blind believes that the stories told in this film will spark discussion and enhance understanding of the true challenges faced by the blind, as well as demonstrating that blindness itself is not the characteristic that defines an individual or his or her future.”

“As the first museum purpose-built in the United States and the first public high school for African Americans in Baltimore, the Peale has a long history of advocating and working for inclusive education,” said Dr. Nancy Proctor, Executive Director of the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture. “Accessibility is at the heart of the current renovation of our historic building, and we are honored to have this chance to host Do You Dream in Color? and support the NFB’s call for equal opportunities for all students to pursue their dreams.”

A town-hall-style discussion with audience questions answered by local blind individuals will follow the showing of the film, and the National Federation of the Blind will give a presentation on resources available to families with blind youth.

View the trailer and learn more. (http://www.doyoudreamincolor.com)

Awards and Praise

  • 2017 National Federation of the Blind Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award, Top Prize
  • Official Selection, Dallas International Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Award, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
  • Advocacy Award, Superfest: International Disability Film Festival
  • “powerfully human” — Truth on Cinema
  • “a film that will touch your head and your heart” — Unseen Films

CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org

Downtown Partnership Award for The Peale

Peale Board President, Jim Dilts, with Baltimore’s Mayor Catherine Pugh at the 2017 Downtown Partnership Awards.

The Peale is once again playing a pivotal role in revitalizing Baltimore’s downtown! At the 2017 annual meeting of the Downtown Partnership on 27 September, 2017, the President of the Peale Center’s Board, Jim Dilts, accepted an award for The Peale’s contribution to developing the downtown neighborhood. Also recognized were the Peale’s neighbor’s, the Real News Network, and Peale Board member Courtney McKeldin and her daughter, Caroline McKeldin Wayner, for the McKeldin Family’s participation in the renovation of Baltimore’s McKeldin Square.

2017 Downtown Partnership Awards

Pictured above, top left: Jim Dilts receiving the Downtown Partnership Award from Kirby Fowler, President, Downtown Partnership, as Dr. Jay A. Perman, Board Chairman looks on.

Top right: Jim Dilts with Kirby Fowler.

Bottom left: Jim Dilts and Courtney McKeldin 

Bottom right: Real News Network CEO Paul Jay and Marketing Manager Tracey Beale with Jim Dilts

 

‘Birdland’ show features more than 120 art pieces on 4 floors of historic museum

Media contact: Cassandra Miller at cassandra.mil@gmail.com

Show runs October 6-29 at Peale Center in downtown Baltimore

"Birdland and the Anthropocene" exhibition curated by Lynne Parks opens Oct 6, 2017 at the Peale. Image: Lynne Parks, "missing birds," photograph, 2017.BALTIMORE, Sept. 21, 2017. “Birdland and the Anthropocene” spans all four floors of the recently reopened Peale Center in downtown Baltimore, and features 30 artists from Baltimore and across the U.S., more than 120 art pieces (including one that’s exclusively sound and six installations that take up half or entire rooms), nine special events, and six people performing an extinction ritual in bird costumes.

The opening reception is Friday, Oct. 6, and closing costume party is Oct. 28. The exhibit and all events are free, and open to the public.

“The creativity on display and breadth of experiences visitors can have throughout all four floors of the Peale Center is astounding,” says curator and participating artist Lynne Parks, who recently won a Baker Prize for her work exploring the issue of light pollution like lighted buildings and street lights that draws birds to strike into glass. “Artists in the show examine ornithology, the scientific study of birds; how we imitate birds and what it reveals about our perception of them; the issue of extinction; how birds are symbols used in political narratives; and our general love of birds.”

The exhibit also includes a “solution center” that offers creative ways to mitigate humans’ impact on the natural environment.

Special programs at the Peale Center and Mic Studio include an open mic referencing birds with guest writers Jenny O’Grady, Timmy Reed and Linda Franklin; a performance of birdsong-influenced selections by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s principal cellist, Dariusz Skoraczwski; a presentation of early 20thcentury bird recordings and bird imitations by music researcher Ian Nagoski; and weekly artist talks.

Parks, an active birder for 16 years, has partnered with Patterson Park Audubon, the Baltimore Bird Club and Lights Out Baltimore to develop programs at schools and community centers to complement the exhibition, which is partially funded by a BGE Green Grant.

RELATED PROGRAMMING

All programs will be at the Peale Center, and are free and open to the public.

Opening Reception, Friday, Oct. 6, 6-10 p.m.

Closing Costume Party, Oct. 28, 7 p.m. until late

Artist’s Talks, Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Oct. 7:  Benjamin Andrew, Christina Baal, Chris Siron

Oct.14:  Lynne Parks, Jieyu Zhang

Oct. 21:  Cathy Cook, Elisabeth Pellathy, Ben Piwowar, Nicole Shiflet

Performances, Sundays at noon

Oct.8:  Bird-themed open mic with guest writers Jo Brown, Linda Franklin, Tatiana Nya Ford, Lisa Lewenz, Jenny O’Grady and Timmy Reed

Oct.15:  Performance of birdsong-influenced selections by Baltimore Symphony

Orchestra’s principal cellist, Dariusz Skoraczwski

Oct.22:  Presentation of early 20th century bird recordings and bird imitations

with music researcher Ian Nagoski

PHOTOS: Click here for photos of selected art works.

VIDEO PREVIEW: Click here for a video introduction by curator and participating artist Lynne Parks.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Divya Anantharaman, Brooklyn, NY

Sandy Anderson, New Orleans, LA

Benjamin Andrew, State College, PA

Christina Baal, Mamaroneck, NY

Amy Boone-McCreesh, Baltimore, MD

Krista Caballero, Takoma Park, MD & Frank Ekeberg, Trondheim, NO

Ashley Cecil, Pittsburgh, PA

Cathy Cook, Baltimore, MD

Laure Drogoul, Baltimore, MD

Edgar Endress, Fairfax, VA

Linda Franklin, Baltimore, MD

Anne Geene & Arjan de Nooy, The Hague, NL

Susan Humphrey, Baltimore MD

Ashley Kidner, Baltimore MD

Jonathan Latiano, Baltimore, MD

Monique Luchetti, Brooklyn, NY

Jennifer McBrien, Baltimore, MD

Ian Nagoski, Baltimore, MD & The Center for PostNatural History, Pittsburgh, PA

Lynne Parks, Baltimore, MD

Elisabeth Pellathy, Birmingham, AL

Ben Piwowar, Baltimore, MD

Jessica Rassp, Baltimore, MD

William Rhodes, San Francisco, CA

Glenn Ricci, Baltimore, MD

Nicole Shiflet, Baltimore, MD

Chris Siron, Baltimore, MD

Andrew Yang, Chicago, IL

Jieyu Zhang, Reading, PA

CALENDAR LISTING:

Oct. 6-29: “Birdland and the Anthropocene”

Exhibits. The Peale Center, 225 Holliday St, Baltimore, MD,www.thepealecenter.org

Thursday and Friday 6-9 p.m.; Saturdays 12-6 p.m.; Sundays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Birdland and the Anthropocene” is a 30-artist group exhibit that examines different perspectives on birds and people’s relationship to them. The show includes more than 120 art pieces in media ranging from a 360-degree hologram to creative taxidermy through four floors at the historic Peale Center in downtown Baltimore. Special programming includes a performance of birdsong-influenced selections by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s principal cellist, a bird-themed open mic and a closing costume party. For more information, visit https://www.thepealecenter.org/birdland-and-the-anthropocene/

H.T. Darling Returns!

Tickets for the fall run of H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum at the Peale are now available!

There will be only eighteen showings, Thursday-Sunday November 16th-December 17th. (Thurs-Fri shows will begin at 8pm, and Sat-Sun at 7pm. No showing Thanksgiving.)

No extensions will be possible. This will be your final chance to experience this extraordinary, original, adventuresome, devised work born through many months of collaboration by a unique group of talented artists. So make a hole in your calendar and get those tickets now while you can!

No idea what we’re talking about?

Last spring, the Peale hosted H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum Presents: The Treasures of New Galapagos, Astonishing Acquisitions from the Perisphere, a unique immersive experience that left critics raving and audiences stunned by its every detail. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response, we have brought Musaeum back for one more run! There will be new artifacts, creatures, experiences, and other surprises to be discovered in this updated edition. The original cast will be returning with some new faces as well.

Peale Center’s New Roof Nears Completion

The Peale Center’s new roof is almost finished. This is the first step in restoring America’s oldest museum building, a National Historic Landmark. Plans call for the building to reopen in 2020 as a center for Baltimore history and architecture.

The work is being done by Ruff Roofers, a firm that has put new roofs on other iconic structures in the city, including the base of the Washington Monument, the Old Otterbein Church, Stanford White’s Lovely Lane Church (Spanish tile), and the copper dome that crowns the cupola of Gilman Hall, centerpiece of the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.

The Peale Center’s new roof is a standing seam metal roof, “basically a copper roof with a tin-zinc coating,” according to Tim Caldwell, general manager of Ruff Roofers, who is supervising the work. The old roof on the building, installed in the early 20th century, was also a standing seam metal roof made of galvanized steel coated with lead. The material was known as terne, and required painting, he said. The old roof had been repaired in 1970, when major renovations were made to the building, but leaks had developed since then, causing damage to the interior walls and decorative plasterwork.

When they tore off the old metal roof, Caldwell said, they found underneath wooden skip sheathing. This was made up of random width boards, some with a bark texture, that were mostly 18-22 inches wide, indicating that had been cut from the center of the tree. This material was left in place, covered with half-inch plywood, and the new metal roof installed over it. Caldwell said the new roof will have a 50-100-year lifespan.

An important element of the project was re-constructing the lantern and skylight that top the rear hip roof of the building. (The main portion of the building facing the street has a pitched roof.) The lantern structure was removed with a crane, taken to the shop, refaced with the same material as the roof, re-glazed, and then put back on the building, again with a crane. The skylight lights the second-floor space that was once Rembrandt Peale’s art gallery and will become a presentation and exhibit hall in the new center.

For a building, the roof is the main line of defense against the elements, according to Caldwell. “It’s amazing how quickly water can do damage; it will rot wood, freeze and expand in masonry,” he said. “The roof is one of the first things you need to do to protect a building.”

Rebuilding and capping the chimneys, re-pointing the exterior brick and restoring the masonry, including the sandstone sills, is also ongoing as part of the same contract. Academy Stone is the contractor for the masonry restoration; this work is expected to be finished in about six weeks. The total cost of the first phase of the Peale restoration is about $700,000, including roughly $500,000 for the new roof. It is being paid for by the City of Baltimore, which owns the building. SM&P Architects is the designer and the Baltimore Department of General Services is overseeing the project.