The Walters Art Museum Fact Sheet
- Founding Date
- The Buildings
- Items in Collection
- Collection Overview
- Museum Store
- Museum Hours
- Museum Admission
Charles Street Building
Henry Walters' original Art Gallery, built between 1904 and 1909, was influenced by Italian Renaissance and Baroque palaces. The palazzo-like structure is modeled after the interior of the early 17th-century Collegio dei Gesuiti (now Palazzo dell' Universita) in Genoa built by the Balbi family for the Jesuits after the plans of architect Bartolomeo Bianchi.
The Centre Street Building
Originally opened in 1974, this building's 1998-2001 renovations include a 4-story glass atrium, a Family Art Center, an enlarged Museum Store, a new Museum Café, and expanded laboratories for painting, object and manuscript conservation as well as new manuscript exhibition space.
Items in Collection
This collection encompasses Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan and Near Eastern art including mummies, sarcophagi, sculpture, vases and ancient jewelry.
Early Christian, Byzantine, Migration Period, Romanesque, Gothic and Late Gothic art provide an exciting view of the Middle Ages.
Changing exhibitions highlight the Walters' celebrated collection of 900 illuminated sacred and secular manuscripts from all over the world, as well as 1,300 books printed before 1500.
Arms and Armor
Armor and weaponry range from prehistoric times to the 19th century, including medieval armor, swords and daggers, crossbows, spears and halberds, flintlocks and muskets installed in context throughout the museum.
Old Master Paintings
Masterpieces by Raphael, Veronese, Pontormo, Van Dyck, Reni, Tiepolo, El Greco and many more are on permanent display.
Renaissance and Later Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Highlights include Limoges enamels, Sévres porcelains and Baroque ivories. The Treasury houses the Walters' renowned collections of jewelry and precious objects, including fabulous Fabergé Easter eggs and jewelry by Tiffany and Lalique.
19th-Century Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Renovated galleries showcase works by Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Degas, Gérôme, Daumier, Delacroix and Corot, among others.
Highlights include Japanese arms and armor, Chinese and Japanese porcelains, lacquers and metalwork. On display in its own second floor gallery is the oldest surviving wood image of the Buddha, dating to the 7th century A.D.
The Walters presents major exhibitions in the Centre Street Building and smaller exhibitions and temporary installations throughout the museum. Exhibitions from the museum's permanent collection are also presented on a rotating basis.
Voted Best Art Museum for Kids by Baltimore Magazine in 2004, the museum provides an array of educational programs for families, including free drop-in art activities every Saturday in the Family Art Center; interactive ArtCarts equipped with Discovery Quilts, costumes, puzzles, books, drawing kits and more; three free family festivals yearly and a variety of fee-based programs including birthday parties and workshops for pre-schoolers to Girl Scouts. The division serves over 30,000 students yearly on tour and in studio experiences, and provides teachers and students with curriculum resources relating to the Walters collections and school curriculum.
The Education Division also develops an extensive schedule of programs for adults, which include lectures, symposia, mini-courses, seminars, concerts, films and in-gallery performances.
The Library's collection of research materials mirrors the museum's art collection in scope and exists to support the scholarly research of the museum's art objects. One hundred twenty thousand volumes of scholarly monographs and periodicals are available to the public for use in the library by appointment only.
The Museum Store offers merchandise inspired by the Walters collection, including a fine selection of art books, note cards, posters, art-patterned scarves, jewelry, childrens toys and other unique gifts.
The Walters Art Museum is open Wednesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday, and the following holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observed, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Open Independence Day.
General admission is free. Prices are subject to change and may vary for special exhibitions.