The late Adelyn Breeskin was the most important person in the history of the Baltimore Museum of Art. If she had done no more than encourage Etta Cone to leave the Cone collection to the museum, she would have earned that title. But in her 20-year tenure as director, from 1942 to 1962, the museum gained several other collections and vastly expanded its building complex.
There's another reason, however, why "A Decade of Print Acquisitions" will be dedicated to Breeskin. Few now know that Breeskin first came to the museum in 1930, shortly after it moved to its present site, as print curator. At the time, the BMA had little art, and Breeskin set out to remedy that. Her first year at the post, she persuaded the Garrett family to bring back its collection of 20,000 prints from the Library of Congress in Washington, where it had been on loan since 1904, and put it on deposit at the museum. (In 1946, the Garretts gave the collection to the BMA.)