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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | August 7, 2000
For the august judges at Baltimore's Edward A. Garmatz federal courthouse, May 30 might as well have been called Black Tuesday. That day marked the return of their nemesis to the courthouse plaza, a whimsically painted outdoor sculpture by New York artist George Sugarman entitled "Baltimore Federal." Over the past quarter century, the court's sober-minded jurists had come to loathe the work heartily. It was removed three years ago for repairs, and it's recent return to the Garmatz building inevitably ignited longstanding local grumbling.
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By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | August 7, 2000
For the august judges at Baltimore's Edward A. Garmatz federal courthouse, May 30 might as well have been called Black Tuesday. That day marked the return of their nemesis to the courthouse plaza, a whimsically painted outdoor sculpture by New York artist George Sugarman entitled "Baltimore Federal." Over the past quarter century, the court's sober-minded jurists had come to loathe the work heartily. It was removed three years ago for repairs, and it's recent return to the Garmatz building inevitably ignited longstanding local grumbling.
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By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | October 9, 1997
For two decades, few people have understood the multicolored metal sculpture outside Baltimore's federal courthouse. Even fewer have liked it.As workers at the Edward A. Garmatz federal courthouse finished dismantling "Baltimore Federal" yesterday and sent it away for a five-month makeover, many who work at the building expressed hope it would never return."
NEWS
July 10, 1995
The controversy over the George Sugarman sculpture at the entrance to the Garmatz Federal Courthouse in downtown Baltimore is one of the city's longer-running disputes. The federal judges say the brightly colored metal structure detracts from the dignity of the court. Yet many people think the piece is a welcome relief from the relentless grayness of the federal building.Then came a bombshell from U.S. Marshal Scott A. Sewell, who called Mr. Sugarman's work a security risk in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing and asked that it be removed.
NEWS
September 3, 1999
George Sugarman, 87, a sculptor whose colorful geometric aluminum designs were seen in museums around the world, died Aug. 25 in New York. He made his work friendly, incorporating benches and canopies into the architecturally scaled works.In 1975, one such piece, commissioned by the General Services Administration for the Garmatz Federal Courthouse in Baltimore, was opposed by several judges with offices in the building, first on aesthetic grounds. Later, they said it could be dangerous for children.
NEWS
By NEIL A. GRAUER | April 15, 1994
The General Assembly's decision to install a statue of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall on the northwest side of the State House in Annapolis is splendid, appropriate and overdue.Allocating $100,000 for a statue design competition isn't so smart.No need exists for a new, costly competition for a Marshall statue, because a perfectly superb one already exists -- and is in dire need of proper placement.Baltimore's renowned and venerable sculptor Reuben Kramer labored mightily for several years on an exceptionally fine, 8-foot-7-inch-high bronze statue of Justice Marshall, for which the jurist returned to his hometown a number of times to pose.
NEWS
By Melody Simmons and Melody Simmons,Sun Staff Writer | June 28, 1995
Under a plan that would bring sweeping changes to the appearance of Baltimore's federal courthouse, a forgotten statue of Thurgood Marshall would take center stage while another more controversial sculpture would be moved to a shady corner.That's the opinion of a panel of architects who met over the past two days to overhaul the entrance to the Garmatz federal courthouse, the hulking concrete structure on Lombard Street that houses the U.S. District Court.The proposed design change moves "Baltimore Federal," a piece of multicolored metal art that has long been a brunt of jokes, sneers and scorn.
NEWS
By Brenda J. Buote and Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF | October 9, 1997
For two decades, few people have understood the multicolored metal sculpture outside Baltimore's federal courthouse. Even fewer have liked it.As workers at the Edward A. Garmatz federal courthouse finished dismantling "Baltimore Federal" yesterday and sent it away for a five-month makeover, many who work at the building expressed hope it would never return."
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By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,Sun Architecture Critic | November 18, 2001
It sounds like John Waters-meets-bad-science-fiction: The Invasion of the 50-Foot She-Male. But that's just one way of thinking about the gender-bending artwork proposed for the plaza in front of Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station: Jonathan Borofsky's Male / Female, a 51-foot-tall burnished aluminum sculpture of intersecting human figures -- one female and one male -- with a common red neon heart. It also can be seen as a three-dimensional manifesto about human rights, or a peace symbol for troubled times.
NEWS
By Nancy Forgione and Nancy Forgione,Special to the Sun | November 5, 2006
Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture Michael Kammen Alfred A. Knopf / 2006 / 450 pages / $35 Among the provocative questions in the 19th- and early 20th-century art world was this: Could female art students sketch a nude male in life drawing class and remain pure in thought? Would a jockstrap solve the problem? This might seem an amusing example of tame Victorian prudery when compared to recent challenges to the limits of decency such as Robert Mapplethorpe's disturbingly explicit photographs.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | July 9, 2000
To the judges who never liked the sprawling, brightly colored sculpture anyhow, its return to Baltimore's federal courthouse might not be the worst part. More maddening might be the estimated price tag - $226,500 for its renovation and reinstallation. That's double what the piece cost taxpayers in 1977 and twice its current appraised value. "Good gosh," said Senior U.S. District Judge Edward S. Northrop, one of the sculpture's earliest detractors. "I just can't understand that." The General Services Administration, manager of all federal buildings, defends the cost as necessary to restore a significant piece of art that will anchor a major redesign of the plaza in front of the Edward A. Garmatz courthouse.
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