Monday, June 23, 2014


Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture

Reginald Lewis Museum & Star-Spangled Banner Flag House unite to present an Exhibition about the U.S. Flag opening the week of Independence Day

Together We Stand by Ann Marie Williams

For Whom It Stands, TOO
the companion exhibition to For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People
WHEN: July 1 - September 14, 2014
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, 844 East Pratt Street, Baltimore
For more information:

Image: Together We Stand by Ann Marie Williams

For Whom It Stands, TOO opens at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland in time for Independence Day. The exhibition presents thought-provoking flag art that accompanies For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People, the critically-acclaimed exhibition at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

For Whom It Stands, TOO features more than 20 works by artists from around the country and many from Maryland. It is the culmination of an open call issued by the African American museum, in conjunction with the bicentennial of the Star-Spangled Banner and our national anthem. This is a first-time collaboration on an exhibition between the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. 

"We saw the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House as the perfect site to host the exhibition. The two museums sit next door to each other. So, there was already a geographic tie. Now there is this thematic one as well," says Asantewa Boakyewa, Associate Curator at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and curator of For Whom It Stands, TOO

The Flag House and the museum also share a link through the story of Grace Wisher, a 13 year-old African American indentured servant. The Flag House was the home of Mary Pickersgill, who created the original Star-Spangled Banner. Wisher worked in the household and helped create the flag that became a national icon. The African American girl is the inspiration for the For Whom It Stands exhibition.

The works in For Whom It Stands, TOO express affection for this country, as well as critique. "Since it is the people who infuse the U.S. flag with its meaning, we wanted to ensure community involvement in a show about flag art by holding an open call," says Boakyewa. Black Flag, by Maryland artist Scott Ponemone, depicts people of different races, united in protest on the National Mall against the Gulf War. Cynthia Farrell Johnson's painting A Time to Mourn remembers Afghan war veterans. 

There are works of optimism and personal reflection. Dr. Joan Gaither, a noted quilt artist, contributed her work Freedom: Our Stories, One History; My Decades Series Quilt #9 to the show. The intricate and dazzling work is from her series "My Decades," where the artist created a quilt about each decade of her life. In quilt #9, Gaither mixes stories of her life with historic figures, such as a Black Panther leader, and U.S. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell. View works from the show.

About For Whom It Stands
The exhibition explores the U.S. flag and the diversity of Americans for whom the flag stands, as represented through artwork, photographs, and artifacts. It was named a "Top 10 Must-See Exhibit" of this summer by USA Today.
Learn more.

About the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
The historic house museum was once home to Mary Pickersgill, the woman who sewed the original Star-Spangled Banner flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the national anthem lyrics. Visitors can learn first-hand about Mary, her family and friends what life was like in the 19th century. Immersive activities let children and families experience the era for themselves.

About the Reginald F. Lewis Museum
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture is Baltimore's premier facility highlighting the history and accomplishments of African Americans with a special focus on Maryland's African American community. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum is the East Coast's largest African American museum, occupying an 82,000 square-foot facility with ample permanent and special exhibition space, interactive learning environments, auditorium, resource center, oral history recording studio, museum shop, café, classrooms, meeting rooms, outside terrace and reception areas. The museum is located near Baltimore's Inner Harbor at the corner of Pratt and President Streets. The museum is also accessible on Baltimore's Charm City Circulator Orange and Green Routes. For more information, please call 443-263-1800 or visit

This 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.