Special Exhibitions

A display about Maryland in the War of 1812.

A display about Maryland in the War of 1812.

A display about Maryland in the War of 1812.

On view April 2, 2014 - May 4, 2014
(Community Space Gallery)

This traveling exhibit from the Baltimore National Heritage Area offers the opportunity to experience the crucial Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. Because so much of the War of 1812 happened on Maryland soil and in Chesapeake waters, Marylanders have much to be proud of and commemorate during the upcoming Bicentennial. The War of 1812 unified a fractured nation, secured our independence from Great Britain, and produced two powerful national symbols: the National Anthem and “Star-Spangled Banner” flag.

Marylanders remember the War of 1812 as a bloody and courageous three-year effort to defend themselves and secure their independence. Though some call it “America’s Forgotten War,” this new exhibit shows why the events that took place 200 years ago continue to inspire and enlighten Americans. The discovery of new information along with wonderful historic images will reveal the hardships and fear felt by the people of Maryland and the Chesapeake Region so long ago as well as their inspired response. The War of 1812 in Maryland will come to life with this new exhibit and bring with it a new sense of appreciation for the freedom we all enjoy today as it revisits the human drama that shaped and propelled this important turning point in the American experience.

March 29, 2014 to June 29, 2014

Jati Lindsay: Jazz Now

Jati Lindsay: Jazz Now

March 29 – June 29, 2014

A photographer with an exquisite eye for light and texture, Lindsay captures magical moments with the leading figures in contemporary jazz, both on stage and off. His photographs "will be the definitive visual record of jazz now," predicts Dr. Michelle Joan Wilkinson, the show's curator. His silken black-and-white compositions recall classic images of the 1950s and 60s jazz greats; but Lindsay trains his lens on the 21st century vanguard inspired by hip-hop culture.

About Jati Lindsay

Jati Lindsay is a New Jersey born & bred, Washington, D.C.-based freelance photographer. He has been shooting professionally for 11 years. He has been a part of exhibitions at the Leica Gallery in New York City, the Afro American Museum in Philadelphia, the Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore, MD, the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Code Gallery in Amsterdam.

Mr. Lindsay has contributed photos for a diverse range of clients that includes the, National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Foundation, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Jazz Times, XLR8R, URB magazine, and Atlantic Records.

May 17, 2014 to February 28, 2015

TeKeyia and David by Sheila Pree Bright

TeKeyia and David by Sheila Pree Bright.

TeKeyia and David by Sheila Pree Bright

May 17, 2014 – Februrary 28, 2015

While many Americans learned that Betsy Ross was the maker of the nation’s first flag in the 1770s, that portion of flag history continues to be debated due to lack of substantive documentation. In Maryland, we know that during the War of 1812 flag maker Mary Pickersgill sewed the original Star-Spangled Banner in a house on the same city block as the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Before becoming a national icon, the flag was worked on also by Grace Wisher, a young African American indentured servant in Pickersgill’s household. Wisher’s story is little known. This forthcoming exhibition from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum highlights Wisher’s contribution as it investigates the broader history and representation of the United States flag as an icon of our nation and its people.


For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People is a 3,200 square foot exhibition featuring more than 75 works of art, artifacts, documents, and photographs. Images like the one of a “Negro wom[a]n worker” making flags for military use in 1942 give a glimpse of the stories the exhibition explores. For Whom It Stands is especially interested in how individuals and groups with different histories and agendas engage the icon. Visual artists have employed the U.S. flag for their own aesthetic and political effects. The flag also carries deep meaning for war veterans, new immigrants, everyday people, and entertainers called upon to perform the national anthem.

For Whom It Stands includes a sound installation featuring pivotal interpretations of “The Star-Spangled Banner” anthem. There is a companion exhibition at The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and an array of interactive, educational public programs for youth and adults. Do you have great ideas to share with us about this exhibition? Email us at forwhomitstands@maamc.org.

Related Programming

What People are Saying

“We discussed the many collaborative opportunities the exhibition presents, and I am personally delighted that our museums can work together to enrich the stories of our flag and explore its role in contemporary life.”
–Annelise Montone, Executive Director of The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

“The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is taking a leadership role in mounting this exhibition. We want to expand the historical narrative about whom the flag represents and share the contemporary contexts of its lived meanings.”
–Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and Curator of “For Whom It Stands”

“This exhibition promises to make important connections between the flag as an artifact of history and as a living symbol of our national identity. On the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, the museum has assembled an impressive collection that will inform and inspire visitors of all ages.”
–Dr. Brent D. Glass, Director Emeritus, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

“Since 2005, the museum has provided a strong presence in the community and I believe that this exhibition will enhance Maryland’s cultural arts landscape.”
-Delegate Melony G. Griffith

* This project and exhibition has been financed in part with State Funds from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. Sheila Pree Bright's residency is in collaboration with the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.

On view April 23 – June 1

Opening reception April 24, 6-8pm

See the works by students of the Refugee Youth Project who created books as art objects through a yearlong creative process of bookbinding. Over the course of two years, local book artists facilitated bookbinding workshops that offered an opportunity for refugee youth to develop storytelling techniques and bookbinding skills related to their cultural traditions. Student book artists are from Bhutan, Nepal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the Congo. Victoria Timpo, a 2014 MFA candidate at the Maryland Institute College of Art, curated this exhibition as her master’s thesis project.

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