Brittany Luberda Shares Virtual Tour of the Baltimore Museum of Art

Mar 5, 2021

Brittany Luberda, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art, hosted a virtual tour for the Decorative Arts Trust on February 26. Brittany shared the museum’s effort to expand the interpretation of objects from a focus on histories of style to broader social narratives. Brittany, a past scholarship recipient through the Trust’s Emerging Scholars Program, shared both iconic and lesser-known pieces, to reveal discoveries about expanded geographic origins and new artist attributions.

The tour began in the Jacobs Wing, which houses the early-European collection. During our tour through the gallery, Brittany shared a case displaying Medieval and Renaissance objects, including a rock crystal cross that the BMA had previously listed as a 17th-century Portuguese object. Conversations Brittany had with visiting scholars revealed that the rock crystal for this cross was very likely from Sri Lanka. Brittany stated:

“The Portuguese had colonized Sri Lanka beginning in 1505, so while we call this work Portuguese what we’re actually looking at is probably a Sri Lankan craftsman who chiseled into a piece of rock crystal and then either sent that preformed rock crystal cross and base to Portugal for a Portuguese goldsmith, who has gotten his gold from perhaps North African trade, perhaps the New World. And he’s brought together these materials from various continents into one object in front of us. So without even moving this object, without creating an new installation, without having an exhibition, with just a minor change, going to our tombstone and the information we are offering to the world, we can change this object from just being a European work to now being a Sri Lankan work with a Portuguese artist and craftsmanship, and even moving forward into thinking about some of the potential material sources in the label.”

Discovering and unearthing new attributions is central to Brittany’s work as a curator. In each gallery, Brittany shared incredible objects as well as interpretations that were rooted in research that allowed participants to see decorative arts in a new light.

The Trust was thrilled to share the scholarship of a promising new curator and we hope you enjoy Brittany’s fantastic tour: 


The Decorative Arts Trust hosts monthly virtual tours that give viewers the opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience incredible collections and sites. Curators, collectors, and lovers of decorative arts share fascinating objects and interiors through our tours hosted on YouTube Live. If you like this tour, we invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel

The Trust’s calendar of events shows upcoming Trust Talks and other virtual and in-person programs. For updates on registration openings, sign up for our e-newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. The Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that appreciates the involvement of members and donors who make programming like this possible.

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Formerly known as the "blog,” the Bulletin features new research and scholarship, travelogues, book reviews, and museum and gallery exhibitions. The Bulletin complements The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust, our biannual members publication.


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