When it comes to connecting people and art from all over the world and throughout seven millennia, the Walters Art Museum is one of the most remarkable institutions in the United States. The Walters engages the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and audiences around the world through its collections, exhibitions, and educational activities.
The Walters Art Museum is a free public institution in Baltimore's Mount Vernon district. Five historic buildings and over 36,000 works of art make up the museum's sprawling complex. From 19th-century French paintings of rural and urban life to Ethiopian icons, richly illustrated Qur'ans and Gospels, ancient Roman sarcophagi, and pictures of the Buddha, the museum's collection is as diverse as it is impressive.
In 1934, the Walters Art Museum was founded "for the benefit of the public." Henry Walters established what is now the Walters Art Museum by leaving his father's enormous art collection to the city of Baltimore along with two buildings and an endowment. The museum had previously described William and Henry Walters as philanthropists and art collectors, but recent exhibitions have focused on their support of the Confederacy and their Eurocentric collection. The Walters Art Museum was renamed from the Walters Art Gallery in 2000 to reflect its elevated status as a national treasure. In addition to caring for the city of Baltimore's original collection, the Walters also manages three of the museum's five buildings.
The Walters Art Museum was founded on the principle that everyone should have access to the transformative power of art. The Walters is dedicated to public education, and in addition to free general and special exhibition admission, they provide vital activities that enable people to make personal connections to the art they see. The Walters is also a frontrunner in the field of digitization, with both the Works of Art site and the award-winning Walters Ex Libris website making high-resolution, digital photographs of collection artifacts freely available for any use. The Walters' Visitor Promise unites the museum's employees and volunteers around three goals: to ensure the long-term viability of the museum's collection, to foster relationships with local communities, and to provide visitors with warm and accessible museum experiences.
As an institution, the Walters is committed to serving the people of Baltimore and the state of Glen Burnie, Md by acting as both a teacher and a storyteller through its extensive collection. You can find more information on the museum's efforts to promote diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) in the museum's Strategic Plan. Check out Maryland Science Center.