Baltimore, MD—The Walters Art Museum is launching a new, free Mobile Guide featuring behind-the-scenes stories about the family that founded the museum, the art they collected, the artists they supported and their lives in Baltimore. Designed to be used during a visit to the museum with a smartphone or tablet, the Mobile Guide answers some of visitors’ most burning questions – “Who was the Walters family? Why did they collect this artwork? What was their connection to Baltimore?” The Mobile Guide is generously supported by PNC Bank.
Through photographs, letters and historic material from the museum’s archives, the guide introduces visitors to members of the Walters family—father William, wife Ellen, son Henry and their daughter Jennie. Mobile Guide users can read stories created around the themes of family, food, travel and collecting, while looking at important works of art in the galleries. The stories are modern-day reinterpretations, based on the lives of the Walters family, drawn from the museum’s archival records. Over time, the Mobile Guide will grow as new objects and stories are added.
“Since opening From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story, we have learned how much our visitors value the stories we’ve shared about the Walters family, their deep connections to the history of our city and the extraordinary works of art they collected,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, the Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director of the Walters Art Museum. “We are proud to be able to offer a fresh view of their remarkable gift to Baltimore through this new Mobile Guide.”
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own smartphone or tablet to the museum, connect to the Walters free public Wi-Fi, visit mobile.thewalters.org and start their tour in the special installation From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. As visitors travel through the museum, they can select a theme—travel, food, family or collecting—or an individual work of art through keywords located on red labels near select artworks.
“As prominent business leaders and philanthropists, the Walters family played a significant role in building both Baltimore’s commercial interests, particularly in banking, and our cultural assets,” said Laura Gamble, PNC Bank regional president in Greater Maryland. “To honor their legacy, we wanted Walters Art Museum visitors to experience a deeper understanding and connection with a family that helped shape our city.”
The project was a collaborative effort of a team of Walters’ educators, curators, conservators, marketing and communications staff and the web development firm Friends of The Web, a software development company based in Baltimore.
About the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum, located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at North Charles and Centre Streets, is free and open to the public. At the time of his death in 1931, museum founder Henry Walters left his entire collection of art to the city of Baltimore. Its collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art, and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. The Museum Store offers distinctive gifts, jewelry and books based on the museum’s collections.
Free admission to the Walters Art Museum is made possible by the combined generosity of individual members, friends and benefactors, foundations, corporations, and grants from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and Howard County Government and Howard County Arts Council.