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Director's Letter

Julia Marciari-Alexander Julia Marciari-Alexander, Director of the Walters Art Museum, is the author of this tri-annual letter.

This summer presents a number of exciting programs focusing on works of art—and contemporary artists—that are here in Baltimore and its surrounding regions all the time. From the focus shows that bring aspects of our collections out of storage and into public view, to the presentation of the annual Janet and Walter Sondheim Finalist Exhibition, the Walters offers an eclectic and interesting array of great art accompanied by exciting and diverse programs.

This summer, our two focus shows delve into our rich collections of American art and medieval manuscripts. The watercolors and drawings in American Artists Abroad capture strong impressions from the travels beyond this country's shores of some of the 19th century's most renowned artists. Seeing Music in Medieval Manuscripts demonstrates forcefully that ours is not the first era in which music has played an integral role in daily and spiritual life. The works of art in these exhibitions contain materials that are harmed by prolonged exposure to light and, therefore, remain most often in our vaults for preservation. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the marvelous beauty of these rarely seen treasures!

As we eagerly await the completion of the renovations at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters is fortunate to be partnering, for the second year, with the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts to present the Janet and Walter Sondheim Finalist Exhibition. You can find a list of the finalists—all artists active in our region—on our website. I especially encourage you to explore the exhibition before the winner is selected here at the museum during the Mayor's award ceremony on Saturday, July 12.

These next few months will see the first physical manifestations of refurbishments and systems upgrades to our buildings and galleries long in the planning. Over the next months and years, watch for changes in the galleries—new ways of seeing the Walters are in store!

This letter marks the anniversary of my first year here at this great museum and in this great city and state. I want to thank you for your tremendous support since my arrival and to say how excited I am to forge our future together. I hope to see you in the museum, and please do enjoy the Walters this summer!

Julia Marciari-Alexander, Ph.D.
Executive Director