Baltimore, MD —The Walters Art Museum has been awarded nearly $340,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), one of the nation’s leading funders of humanities programs and grants to museums, archives, libraries, colleges and universities, public television and radio stations as well as to individual scholars and teachers.

NEH is providing the Walters a $300,000 implementation grant to support the international traveling exhibition Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World. The exhibition conceived by Walters’ Curator of Islamic Art Amy Landau, will present the arts of Islamic cultures from the point of view of authors and artists from historical Muslim societies. Pearls on a String will offer an alternative to impersonal presentations of Islamic art by focusing on specific people and relationships among cultural tastemakers threaded together ‘as pearls on a string,’ a Persian metaphor expressing human connectivity, especially between painters, calligraphers, poets, and their patrons. The NEH grant will help to provide for the organizational costs, including travel, insurance, the catalog, and public programs.

The second NEH grant, $39,720, will fund Access to Art in Encyclopedic Context, a two-year planning project to continue to enrich the information available about Walters’ works of art on the web, including exhibition and publication records and curatorial research. Currently, the museum provides high-resolution digital images of more than 12,000 works from its collection, attracting in excess of 1.2 million unique visitors each year.  The NEH grant will fund assessment of the museum’s archives and curatorial records to prepare for later digitization projects.

“We are thrilled that the NEH has given its support to these two exciting projects,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, executive director. “These grants are subjected to rigorous peer review and the process is highly competitive.  To have the Walters’ role in understanding cultural complexity and its central place in that conversation so generously recognized, is a boost to all of our activities.”

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum is located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at North Charles and Centre streets. Its permanent collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art, and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. Wyndham Baltimore Peabody Court is the official hotel of the Walters Art Museum.

National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: