The Baltimore Museum of Art is situated in the northern part of town near the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. The art house, designed by John Russell Pope, showcases the collection of the Cone sisters. Claribel and Etta Cone were Baltimore socialites in the late 19th century and early 20th. They were progressive women who, against the grain of their time, studied medicine and never married. The two were born in Tennessee but lived most of their lives in Charm City, residing for over fifty years in neighboring rowhouses on Eutaw Street.
The social circles that the sisters ran gave them a unique opportunity for acquiring art. They were friends with Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, gaining direct access to some of the greatest works of a generation. Their collection of Matisse paintings and sculptures is worth the visit in itself, containing over five hundred pieces, it constitutes the most comprehensive group of the French master’s work. Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne are also represented at the museum. Since 2006 the BMA and the Walters Art Gallery in Mount Vernon have been free, excluding certain exhibits.