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Walters and UMBC Form Strategic Partnership

Museum–University Collaborate to Cultivate Community Engagement and Diversity

Baltimore, MD—Julia Marciari-Alexander, the Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director of the Walters Art Museum, and Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president ofUMBC, announced today a new partnership between the two institutions. The partnership will encourage collaboration in education, research and scholarship, technology initiatives and workforce development, especially those projects that foster diversity in the art museum field.

The partnership will focus on a variety of mutually beneficial areas including:

  • Establishing internship, education, and collaboration opportunities at the Walters for UMBC students, with a goal of inspiring and training a diverse new generation of museum professionals;
  • Growing summer fellowship opportunities to introduce students to the connections between the arts and sciences in museum contexts, particularly through conservation science; and
  • Fostering collaboration between UMBC faculty and the Walters’ staff in the exploration of topics related to the Walters’ collections and programs.

Working together with UMBC, we can align our strategic goals to create greater impact in our community and exceptional educational and professional opportunities for students, faculty and staff at both institutions,” said Marciari-Alexander.

Key initiatives to date include:

  • Baltimore SCIART—This summer consortium, featuring scientists and art conservators from the Walters, UMBC and Johns Hopkins University, mentors diverse undergraduates in research associated with art conservation, including chemistry, physics, engineering and computer science. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has supported this collaboration through a $617,000 commitment over three years.
  • Interdisciplinary research—Scott E. Casper, UMBC dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, professor of history, and a historian of the 19th-century United States, is serving on the academic advisory committee for the Walters’ reinstallation and reinterpretation of One West Mount Vernon Place. The academic advisory committee is chaired by Eleanor Hughes, the Walters’ deputy director for art and program.
  • Internship—A UMBC senior majoring in mechanical engineering served as an engineer intern at the Walters. She gained knowledge of the various mechanical systems and environmental requirements to preserve the art collections.

“We are excited about our growing relationship with the Walters,” said Hrabowski. “Both UMBC and the Walters are committed to substantive community engagement and inclusive excellence. This partnership solidifies that commitment.”

About UMBC

UMBC is a leading public research university known for innovative teaching, relevant research across disciplines, and a supportive community that empowers and inspires inquisitive minds. UMBC serves 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and combines the learning opportunities of a liberal arts college with the creative intensity of a leading research university. At the same time, UMBC is one of the country’s most inclusive education communities. UMBC also contributes to Maryland through strong government and industry partnerships that advance K–16 education, entrepreneurship, workforce training, and technology commercialization. See umbc.edu for more information and news.umbc.edu for UMBC News.

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 Walters’ new strategic plan envisions the museum as a transformative force in the region and a cornerstone in the community by engaging in collaborative leadership and by creating and sustaining innovative partnerships. To achieve those goals, the Walters has formed new strategic partnerships with four anchor institutions in Baltimore—Morgan State University, UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Kennedy Krieger Institute: The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, and MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art). For more information about the Walters, visit thewalters.org.

 

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