Try Out The New Mobile Guide

Did you know that William T. Walters bought most of his art with money he made from a whiskey business? Or that William’s wife, Sadie, became the toast of high society by introducing the waffle iron? Visit the Walters Art Museum and try out the new Mobile Guide to discover the stories behind the collection. Through photographs, letters and historic material from the museum’s archives, get to know members of the Walters family—father William, wife Ellen, son Henry and their daughter Jennie. 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.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  1. Bring your own device and use the Wi-Fi to go to mobile.thewalters.orgMobile_In_Hand_Photo
  2. Look for red labels near select works of art in the galleries. 00_Flashing_Sign-Labels-Square
  3. Enter the keywords you find to discover stories about the Walters family. 01-Enter_Keyword
  4. Collect all the keywords and discover more about the collection! 02-Explore_Story-400x464

    The Mobile Guide is generously supported by PNC Bank.

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#ThrowbackThursday Postcards From the Walters

Postcards from the Walters was a weekly radio segment on Baltimore’s WYPR radio. Each week, former Director Gary Vikan explored the cultural and historical treasures of the museum. The segment features stories about the lives and the collection that make the legends of the Walters Art Museum. Vikan later used material from the segment as the basis for his book, also titled Postcards from the Walters.

Here are some Postcards from the Walters audio segments.

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A Brief History of the Hackerman House

Built for Dr. John Hanson Thomas, the great-grandson of John Hanson, President of the Continental Congress, The Hackerman House represented the height of elegance and convenience in the mid-nineteenth century.

Built for Dr. John Hanson Thomas, the great-grandson of John Hanson, President of the Continental Congress, The Hackerman House represented the height of elegance and convenience in the mid-nineteenth century. Renowned guests include the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and General Kossuth. In 1892, Mr. and Mrs. Francis M. Jencks purchased the home and remodeled it extensively under the direction of Charles A. Platt. The graceful circular staircase was widened and the oval Tiffany skylight installed in the coffered dome. The bow window in the dining room was added and the entire house was decorated in the Italian Renaissance style.

Following the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Jencks, the house was used as headquarters for various civic organizations and fell into a state of neglect and disrepair. Mr. Harry Leo Gladding purchased the building in 1963 and painstakingly restored it to its former elegance. Willard Hackerman purchased the building at 1 West Mount Vernon Place in the late 1980’s from the estate of its last owner, Harry Gladding. Mr. Hackerman was concerned with the possibility that the architectural anchor of Mount Vernon Place might be converted to commercial use. Story has it that he took the keys and placed them on the desk of then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer. In true Schaefer fashion, the Mayor held a contest to determine the best use of the historic structure. The Walters won the competition with a proposal to convert the house into galleries for its growing and important collection of Asian Art. Hackerman House opened in the spring of 1991. Mr. and Mrs. Hackerman have generously supported the Walters for many years and his firm, Whiting-Turner, has been the contractor for many of our additions and renovations. Over the years, he was a friend and mentor to our directors and Board members.

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