Remembering Raoul

Baltimore is lucky to be the home of one of the foremost art schools in the country, The Maryland Institute College of Art. Working in an auction house in this city, I am privileged to encounter all the talented people, both students and faculty, hailing from MICA.  Baltimore and MICA recently lost one of its greats, Raoul Middleman.  Middleman, born in Baltimore in 1935, passed away in October of 2021.  He had been a member of the Maryland Institute College of Art faculty since 1961, teaching emerging artists for decades.  The American University Museum at the Katzen Center, hosting Middleman’s exhibition “City Limits,” described Middleman as a “Baltimore maestro whose nudes are not pretty-they are sagging, dimpled and real.  His cityscapes reveal the underbelly of post-industrial rot, his narrative paintings give contemporary life to his personal obsessions. They are intelligent, messy and utterly masterful.”

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Middleman, along with his wife, artist, Ruth Channing, owned and operated Ink Spot Press in Mt. Vernon for years.  As recently  publicized in Baltimore Magazine, Ink Spot is to become a permanent museum of the artist’s works with a ongoing rotating exhibition of his paintings.  The first exhibition opens on Sunday, April 3rd, on what would have been Middleman’s birthday.  The gallery will open its doors from 11:00-4:00 pm and is located at 943 N. Calvert Street. (theinkspotpress.com)

Alex Cooper has long sold the work of Raoul Middleman, but our April 9th Gallery Auction brings five amazing pieces from the collection of personal friends of the artist, Phipps and Tom Moran.  Long time supporters of Middleman and Baltimore arts, the Moran’s commissioned Middleman to create a stately view of the Baltimore Harbor from Moran’s office window.  The couple took numerous photos of the process and the auction presents the finished product “Baltimore Harbor” lot 1203, and “Baltimore Harbor Study” lot 1204.  The other standout work from the collection is “East Side Fog” lot 1205, from the series “Views from the North Tower, 2001.” Completed the year before 9/11, the painting is an emotional view of the city that no longer exists. 

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Lot 1203: Raoul Middleman. "Baltimore Harbor," oil.

The final pieces of the collection, two works on paper, lot 1206 and 1207, “Female Nude’ and “Racetrack” are lovely examples of Middleman’s drawing talents. 

For more information on the Middleman works and for bidding, click here.

Happy Collecitng.

Kathleen Hamill

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Director, Modern & Contemporary Art
Fine Art Appraiser, USPAP
kathleen@alexcooper.com