Walters Art Museum

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Walters Art Museum
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at Centre Street BaltimoreLink routes Green, Pink, Silver, 51, 95, 103, 410, 411 Charm City Circulator Purple Route
|website = {{official websiteweblink}}
}}The Walters Art Museum, located in Mount Vernon-Belvedere, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, is a public art museum founded and opened in 1934. It holds collections established during the mid-19th century. The Museum's collection was amassed substantially by major American art and sculpture collectors, a father and son: William Thompson Walters, (1819–1894), who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris as a nominal Southern/Confederate sympathizer at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861; and Henry Walters (1848–1931), who refined the collection and made arrangements for the construction of a later landmark building to rehouse it. After allowing the Baltimore public to occasionally view his father's and his growing added collections at his West Mount Vernon Place townhouse/mansion during the late 1800s, he arranged for an elaborate stone palazzo-styled structure built for that purpose in 1905–1909. Located across the back alley, a block south of the Walters mansion on West Monument Street/Mount Vernon Place, on the northwest corner of North Charles Street at West Centre Street.The mansion and gallery were also just south and west of the landmark Washington Monument in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood, just north of the downtown business district and northeast of Cathedral Hill. Upon his 1931 death, Henry Walters bequeathed the entire collection of then more than 22,000 works, the original Charles Street Gallery building, and his adjacent townhouse/mansion just across the alley to the north on West Mount Vernon Place to the City of Baltimore, "for the benefit of the public." The collection includes masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master European and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, Art Deco jewelry, and ancient Near East, Mesopotamian, or ancient Middle East items.In 2000, "The Walters Art Gallery" changed its long-time name to "The Walters Art Museum" to reflect its image as a large public institution and eliminate confusion among some of the increasing out-of-state visitors. The following year, "The Walters" (as it is often known in the city) reopened its original main building after a dramatic three-year physical renovation and replacement of internal utilities and infrastructure. The Archimedes Palimpsest was on loan to the Walters Art Museum from a private collector for conservation and spectral imaging studies.Starting on October 1, 2006, the museum began having free admission year-round as a result of substantial grants given by Baltimore City and the surrounding suburban Baltimore County arts agencies and authorities.WEB,weblink Free Admission at Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art museum begins October 1, Groundbreaking cooperation and financial support from Baltimore City and Baltimore County provides greater public access to world-class art, September 23, 2006, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 2, 2006, In 2012, "The Walters" released nearly 20,000 of its own images of its collections on a Creative Commons license, and collaborated in their upload to the world-wide web and the internet on Wikimedia Commons.NEWS,weblink Walters donates artwork images to Wikipedia, Mary Carole, McCauley, The Baltimore Sun, May 8, 2012, This was one of the largest and most comprehensive such releases made by any museum.

Permanent collection

Ancient art

The Walters' collection of ancient art includes examples from Egypt, Nubia, Greece, Rome, Etruria and the Near East. Highlights include two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the Egyptian lion-headed fire goddess Sekhmet; the Walters Mummy; alabaster reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II; Greek gold jewelry, including the Greek bracelets from Olbia on the shores of the Black Sea; the Praxitelean Satyr; a large assemblage of Roman portrait heads; a Roman bronze banquet couch, and marble sarcophagi from the tombs of the prominent Licinian and Calpurnian families.File:Sumerian - Male Worshiper - Walters 215 (2).jpg|Sumerian male worshiper, c.2300 BCFile:Egyptian - Statue of a Vizier, Usurped by Pa-di-iset - Walters 22203.jpg|Padiiset's Statue, illustrates Canaan - Ancient Egypt trade, c.1700 B.C. (inscription c.900 B.C.)File:Roman - Portrait of Livia - Walters 23211 - Three Quarter.jpg|Portrait bust of Livia, wife of Emperor/Caesar Augustus, (Octavius), c.35 B.C.File:Egyptian - Mummy Portrait of a Bearded Man - Walters 326.jpg|Al Fayum mummy portrait, Roman Egypt, c. A.D. 175 File:Byzantine - The "Rubens Vase" - Walters 42562 - Three Quarter Left.jpg|The Rubens Vase, an agate hardstone carving of c. A.D. 400File:Roman - Funeral Stele with Latin Inscription Referring To Mithra - Walters 2317.jpg|Roman Funeral stele with Latin inscription referring to Mithra

Art of the ancient Americas

In 1911, Henry Walters purchased almost 100 gold artifacts from the Chiriqui region of western Panama in Central America, creating a core collection of ancient American native art. Through subsequent gifts of art and loans, the museum has added works, mostly in pottery and stone, from Mexico, Central America and South America, including pieces from the Mesoamerican Olmec, Aztec, and Maya cultures, as well as the Moche and Inca peoples of South America.File:Colima - Dancing Figure Whistle - Walters 20092029 - Three Quarter Left.jpg|Whistle in the form of a dancing figure from Colima, Mexico, pottery, c. 300 B.C. - A.D. 200File:Mayan - Stucco Portrait Head - Walters 20092046 - View A.jpg|Maya head in stucco, A.D. 550-850File:Mixteca-Puebla style labret.jpg|Mixteca-Puebla style labret, obsidian

Asian art

Highlights of the Asian art collection assembled earlier by Baltimorean father and son collectors William T. and Henry Walters include Japanese arms and armor, and Chinese and Japanese porcelains, lacquers, and metalwork. Among the museum's outstanding works of Asian art is a late-12th- or early-13th-century Cambodian bronze of the eight-armed Avalokiteshvara, a T'ang Dynasty earthenware camel, and an intricately painted Ming Dynasty wine jar. The museum owns the oldest surviving Chinese wood-and-lacquer image of the Buddha (late 6th century AD). It is exhibited in a gallery dedicated solely to this work.The museum holds one of the largest and finest collections of Thai (Siam/Thailand) bronze, scrolls, and banner paintings in the world.Indian - Head of a Jain Tirthankara - Walters 25262.jpg|Head of a Jain Tirthankara, India, 10th centuryIndian - Mandala of Padmavati - Walters 543007.jpg|'Mandala of Padmavati' - bronze statue of Goddess Padmavati, India, 11th centuryIndian_-_Jina_Parshvanatha_with_Attendants_-_Walters_543013.jpg|Brass idol of tirthankar Parshvanatha, India, 16th centuryFile:Chinese - Seated Guanyin (Kuan-yin) Bodhisattva - Walters 25256 - Detail C.jpg|Detail of Ming dynasty wood and lacquer GuanyinFile:Tibetan - Phurbu-cum-chopper - Walters 511448 - View A.jpg|15th-century Tibet, an ritual knife and chopperFile:Thai - Vessantara Jataka, Chapter 10 (Indra's Realm) - Walters 35269 - A T Front.jpg|19th-century Thai illustration of Vessantara Jataka, Ch 10File:Chinese - Jar with Design of a Dragon - Walters 47691.jpg|18th-century Chinese jar with dragonFile:Hashiguchi Goyo - Woman in Blue Combing Her Hair - Walters 95880.jpg|Hashiguchi Goyo, Woman in Blue Combing Her Hair, woodblock print, Japan, 1920

Islamic art

Islamic art in all media is represented at the Walters. Among the highlights are a 7th-century carved and hammered silver bowl from Iran, (ancient Persia); a 13th-century candlestick made of copper, silver, and gold from the Mamluk era in Egypt; 16th-century mausoleum doors decorated with intricate wood carvings in a radiating star pattern; a 17th-century silk sash from the Mughal Empire in India; and a 17th-century Turkish tile with an image of the Masjid al-Haram ("Great Mosque of Mecca"), the center of Islam in Mecca, (modern Saudi Arabia).The Walters Museum owns an array of Islamic manuscripts. These include a 15th-century Koran from northern India, executed at the height of the Timurid Empire; a 16th-century copy of the "Khamsa of Nizami (Khamsa" by Amir Khusraw, illustrated by a number of famous artists for the Emperor Akbar; and a Turkish calligraphy album by Sheikh Hamadullah Al-Amasi, one of the greatest calligraphers of all time. Walters Art Museum, MS W.613 contains five Mughal miniatures from an important "Khamsa of Nizami" made for the Emperor Akbar; the rest are in London, Great Britain.File:Islamic - Folio with Kufic Script - Walters W55236B - Full Page.jpg|Early Qur'an page in Kufic script, 9th centuryFile:Egyptian - Candlestick Base - Walters 54459 - View K.jpg|Mamluk-era in Egypt candlestick base, c1240, brass with silver, gold and copper inlaysFile:Dharm Das - The Death of Darius - Walters W61326B - Full Page.jpg|The Death of Darius, Mughal miniature from Akbar's Khamsa of Nizami, 1595, MS W.613File:Turkish - Rifle - Walters 5184 - Detail L.jpg|Detail of an 18th-century ceremonial jeweled Turkish rifleFile:Islamic - Binding from Qur'an - Walters W8531binding - Bottom Interior.jpg|Inside of Qur'an cover, 19th century, sub-Saharan Africa

Medieval European art

Henry Walters assembled a collection of art produced during the Middle Ages in all the major artistic media of the period. This forms the basis of the Walters' medieval collection, for which the museum is best known internationally. Considered one of the best collections of medieval art in the United States, the museum's holdings include examples of metalwork, sculpture, stained glass, textiles, icons, and other paintings. The collection is especially renowned for its ivories, enamels, reliquaries, early Byzantine silver, post-Byzantine art, illuminated manuscripts, and the largest and finest collection of Ethiopian Orthodox Church art outside Ethiopia.The Walters' medieval collection features unique objects such as the Byzantine agate Rubens Vase that belonged to the painter Rubens (accession no. 42.562) and the earliest-surviving image of the "Virgin of Tenderness", an ivory carving produced in Egypt in the 6th or 7th century (accession no. 71.297). Sculpted heads from the royal Abbey of St. Denis are rare surviving examples of portal sculptures that are directly connected with the origins of Gothic art in 12th-century France (accession nos. 27.21 and 27.22). An ivory casket covered with scenes of jousting knights is one of about a dozen such objects to survive in the world (accession no. 71.264).Many of these works are on display in the museum's galleries. Works from the medieval collection are also frequently included in special touring exhibitions, such as Treasures of Heaven, an exhibition about relics and reliquaries that was on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art in (Cleveland, Ohio), the Walters Art Museum, and the British Museum in London in 2010–11.Works in the medieval collection are the subject of active research by the curatorial and conservation departments of the museum, and visiting researchers frequently make use of the museum's holdings. In-depth technical research carried on these objects is made available to the public through publications and exhibitions, as in the case of the Amandus Shrine (accession no. 53.9), which was featured in a small special exhibition titled The Special Dead in 2008–09.File:Hunnish - Set of Horse Trappings - Walters 571050, 571051, 571052, 571060 - View A.jpg|Hunnish set of horse trappings, 4th centuryFile:French - Box Lid with a Tournament - Walters 71274.jpg|French Gothic ivory Box Lid with a Tournament, 14th century (Walters 71274)File:Master of Walters 323 - Leaf from Barbavara Book of Hours - Walters W32352R - Open Obverse.jpg|Leaf from Barbavara Book of Hours, Milan c. 1440File:English - Resurrection - Walters 27308.jpg|15th century Nottingham alabaster panel of the Resurrection of ChristFile:German - Chandelier - Walters 61309.jpg|German chandelier, red deer antler and wood, 15th centuryThere are also Late Medieval devotional Italian paintings by these painters at the Walters: Tommaso da Modena, Pietro Lorenzetti, Andrea di Bartolo (Resurrection), Alberto Sotio, Bartolomeo di Tommaso (Death of Saint Francis), Naddo Ceccarelli, Master of Saint Verdiana, Niccolo di Segna (Saint Lucy), Orcagna, Olivuccio di Ciccarello, Master of Panzano Triptych and Giovanni del Biondo.

Renaissance, Baroque and 18th-century European art

The collection of European Renaissance and Baroque art features holdings of paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, metal work, arms and armor. The highlights include Hugo van der Goes' Donor with Saint John the Baptist, Heemskerck's Panorama with the Abduction of Helen Amidst the Wonders of the Ancient World, Giambattista Pittoni's Sacrifice of Polyxena, the Madonna of the Candelabra, from the studio of Raphael, Veronese's Portrait Of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter Porzia, El Greco's Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, Bernini's "bozzetto" of Risen Christ, Tiepolo's Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva, and The Ideal City attributed to Fra Carnevale. The museum has one of ten surviving examples of the Sèvres pot-pourri vase in the shape of a ship from the 1750s and 1760s.File:Fra Carnevale - The Ideal City - Walters 37677.jpg|The Ideal City (c. 1480-1484) attributed to Fra CarnevaleFile:Workshop of Raphael - Madonna of the Candelabra - Walters 37484.jpg|Madonna of the Candelabra (c. 1513) by Raphael.File:Master Jean de Mauléon - Leaf from Book of Hours - Walters W44976R - Open Obverse.jpg|Leaf from Book of Hours, French Renaissance, 1524File:Giovanni Bernardi - The Battle of Pavia - Walters 4168.jpg|The Battle of Pavia, engraved on rock crystal for a Medici Cardinal by Giovanni Bernardi, 1530'sFile:Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva - Walters 37657.jpg|Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva, c. 1720File:Giovanni Battista Pittoni - The Sacrifice of Polyxena - Google Art Project.jpg|The Sacrifice of Polyxena, Giambattista PittoniImage:Pompeo Girolamo Batoni - Portrait of Cardinal Prospero Colonna di Sciarra - Walters 371205.jpg|Pompeo Batoni, Portrait of Cardinal Prospero Colonna di Sciarra, c. 1750Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory - Potpourri Vase (Vase potpourri à vaisseau) - Walters 48559.jpg|Sèvres pot-pourri vase in the shape of a ship, 1764

19th-century European art

William and Henry Walters collected works by late-19th-century French academic masters and Impressionists. Highlights of the collection include Odalisque with Slave by Ingres (a second version); Claude Monet's Springtime; Alfred Sisley's panoramic view of the Seine Valley; and Édouard Manet's realist masterpiece, The Café Concert.Henry Walters was particularly interested in the courtly arts of 18th-century France. The museum's collection of Sèvres porcelain includes a number of pieces that were made for members of the Royal Bourbon Court at Versailles Palace outside of Paris. Portrait miniatures and the examples of goldsmiths' works, especially snuffboxes and watches, are displayed in the Treasury, along with some exceptional 19th- and early-20th-century works. Among them are examples of Art Nouveau-styled jewelry by René Lalique, jeweled objects by the House of Fabergé, including two Russian Imperial Easter eggs, and precious jewels by Tiffany and Co. of New York City.The Walters' collection presents an overview of 19th-century European art, particularly art from France. From the first half of the century come major paintings by Ingres, Géricault, and Delacroix. William Walters stayed in Paris with his family during the Civil War, because of his notorious Southern-leanings, and he soon developed a keen interest in contemporary European painting. He either commissioned directly from the artists or purchased at auctions such major works by the Barbizon masters, including Jean-François Millet and Henri Rousseau; the academic masters Jean-Léon Gérôme and Lawrence Alma-Tadema; and even the modernists Monet, Manet, and Sisley, the Italian Antonio Rotta.File:Antonio Rotta - The Hopeless Case - Walters 37182.jpg|The Hopeless Case (1855) by Antonio Rotta File:Joseph Mallord William Turner - Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington - Walters 3741.jpg|Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington (1817) by Joseph Mallord William Turner"File:Asher Brown Durand - The Catskills - Walters 37122.jpg|The Catskills (1859) by Asher Brown Durand.File:Alfred Stevens - News from Afar - Walters 37183.jpg|News from Afar (1860) by Alfred Stevens, (Exhibition: "(:commons:category:Salute to Belgium|Salute to Belgium), 1980)File:Claude Monet - Springtime - Google Art Project.jpg|Springtime (1872) by Claude Monet.File:Edouard Manet - At the Café - Walters 37893.jpg|The Café-Concert (ca. 1879) by Édouard Manet.File:Alfred Sisley - The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring - Walters 37992.jpg|The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring (1875) by Alfred Sisley.File:Léon Bonvin - Still Life on Kitchen Table with Celery, Parsley, Bowl, and Cruets - Walters 371504.jpg|Léon Bonvin - Still Life on Kitchen Table with Celery, Parsley, Bowl, and Cruets - Walters 371504


File:Félicien Rops - Confessional, Toledo - Walters 372804.jpg|Confessional, Toledo, by Félicien Rops, 1889File:Adolphe-René Lefevre - Courtier Standing by a Column - Walters 371630.jpg|Courtier Standing by a Column, by Adolphe-René Lefèvre, ca. 1860File:Théodore Henri Mansson - Street Scene with Gothic Building - Walters 371629.jpg|Street Scene with Gothic Building, by Théodore Henri Mansson, 1845


Charles Street – Old Main Building (1905–1909)

missing image!
- Interior Walters Art Museum.jpg -
Sculpture Garden (central Great Hall) of the Walters Art Gallery (now Walters Art Museum) in the original Main Building of 1905–1909
Henry Walters' original gallery was designed by architect William Adams Delano and erected between 1904 and 1909, facing South Washington Place (at the northwest corner with West Centre Street) and attached by an overhead bridge/passageway across the back alley from his adjacent townhouse/mansion to the north on West Mount Vernon Place (facing the Washington Monument to the northeast). Its exterior was inspired by the Renaissance-revival-style Hôtel Pourtalès in Paris and its interior was modeled after the 17th-century "Collegio dei Gesuiti" (now the Palazzo dell'Università) built by the Balbi family for the Jesuits in Genoa. The arts of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, French decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries, and manuscripts and rare books are now exhibited in this palazzo-style structure.Guide to the Collections, p. 14–15

Centre Street Annex Building (1974)

Designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Bullfinch, Richardson, and Abbott, in the "Brutalist" poured-concrete style prevailing in the 1960s, (one of the few others in the region of this extremely modernistic style in the city – such as the recently razed Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in downtown Charles Center on the southwest corner of Charles and Baltimore Streets from 1967), this annex building (which has several horizontal lines paralleled with features in the 1909 structure) to the west along West Centre Street and rear of the original main gallery, extending to Park Avenue, opened in 1974. It was substantially altered in 1998–2001 by another firm of Kallmann McKinnell and Wood, Architects, to provide a four-story glass atrium, with a suspended staircase at the juncture between the older and newer buildings with a new entrance lobby along Centre Street. The new lobby, which also provides easier ground-level handicapped access along with enhanced security provisions for both collections and visitors is also providing a café, an enlarged museum and gift store and a reference The ancient, Byzantine, medieval, Ethiopian, and 19th-century European collections are housed in this building, with its large display walls and irregular corridors and galleries. Also here is the museum's famed art conservation laboratory, which is one of the oldest in the country.WEB,weblink From Gallery to Museum, Walters Art Museum website,weblink" title="">weblink December 26, 2010, November 18, 2016,

Hackerman House (1850/1991)

This Greek Revival styled townhouse/mansion, one of the most elaborate in the city, was designed by famed local architect John Rudolph Niernsee (1814–1885), and erected between 1848 and 1850 for Dr. John Hanson Thomas, was long regarded as the most "elegant" house along Mount Vernon Place or Washington Place. It sits on the southwest corner of the circle surrounding the Washington Monument and was later owned by the families Jencks and Gladding (later known as the Thomas-Jencks-Gladding Mansion). Considered in its premiere landmark municipal location to be used for Baltimore City's Official Mayor's Residence (similar to other major American cities mayor's mansions such as Gracie Mansion in a river-front park on New York City's east side of Manhattan, facing the East River when it was briefly acquired by the city in the late 1950s and then being considered to be razed for an unfortunately poorly-conceived and planned northern expansion of the Gallery engendered local preservationists' protests before being finally re-sold to the Gladding family of a well-known public-spirited local Chevrolet auto dealership, who promised to restore and preserve the noted mansion.Among the original owning family of the Thomas's distinguished guests of the mid-19th century were the Prince of Wales (eldest son of Queen Victoria), the future King Edward VII (reigned 1901–1910); and General Lajos Kossuth (1802–1894), the then famous Hungarian freedom fighter, President of an early, brief Hungarian republic, veteran of the European Revolutions of 1847–1848 and the "Father of modern Hungary". Since the mid-1980s when, the Thomas-Jencks-Gladding Mansion was reacquired by the city under Mayor William Donald Schaefer (1921–2011), who served the city from 1971 to 1987, and future Governor of Maryland (1987–1995) from the Gladding family with a donation by the Mayor's loyal friend along with being a developer, industrialist and philanthropist, Willard Hackerman, and transferred to the purposes of "The Walters". Since additional renovations with the addition of a connecting gallery with domed skylight and corridor constructed through the top of the old rear carriage house/garage to the south end of the house, and across the east-west alley to the old 1909 Main Building's north side. Reopened in 1991, the newly renamed "Hackerman House" has been devoted to The Walters' recently expanded holdings of Asian art.Guide to the Collections, p. 18

Select works from the collection

Image: Egyptian - Finger Ring with a Representation of Ptah - Walters 42387 - Side A.jpg|Moveable ring from 664 to 322 BC. Green jasper and gold.WEB, The Walters Art Museum,weblink Finger Ring with a Representation of Ptah, The Walters Art Museum.File:Celtic - Ring Brooch - Walters 542342 - Detail.jpg|9th-century Irish ring broochFile:Ethiopian - John the Evangelist - Walters W850153V - Open Reverse.jpg|Ethiopian miniature of John the Evangelist, Gunda Gunde Gospel Book, c. 1540File:Flemish - Pendant with a Lion - Walters 57618.jpg|Pendant with a Lion, Flemish, (between 1600 and 1650) BaroqueFile:Walters Gilbert Stuart George Washington.jpg|George Washington (1825) by Gilbert StuartFile:Richard Caton Woodville - The Sailor's Wedding - Walters 37142.jpg|The Sailor's Wedding (1852) by Richard Caton WoodvilleFile:The Church at Eragny Pissarro.jpg|The Church at Eragny (1884) by Camille PissarroFile:Tiffany and Company - Iris Corsage Ornament - Walters 57939.jpg|Iris Corsage Ornament (c. 1900) by Tiffany & Company.File:Margot in Blue Cassatt.jpg|Margot in Blue (1902) by Mary Cassatt.File:House of Fabergé - Rose Trellis Egg - Walters 44501.jpg|Rose Trellis Imperial Easter Egg (1907) by Peter Carl Fabergé.

See also


  • The Walters Art Gallery, Guide to the Collections, 1997, Scala Books, {{ISBN|0-911886-48-6}}
  • AMERICANA, Walters Collection, 1920,
Further reading
  • Gruelle, R. B., Collection of William Thompson Walters (Boston 1895)
  • Bushnell, S. W., Oriental Ceramic Art Collections of William Thompson Walters (New York 1899)

External links

{{commons and category|Walters Art Museum}} {{Maryland museums|state=collapsed}}{{Baltimore art districts}}{{Baltimore}}{{Authority control}}

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