Conserving an Ottoman Helmet

Recently, while re-installing one of the exhibition cases of Islamic arms and armor, conservators noticed bright green corrosion around the copper rivets on one of the helmets. What was causing this corrosion, and could it be stopped?

Helmet engraved with floral patterns, before conservation treatment. Sixteenth century Ottoman Turkish or Persian. Walters Art Museum 51.1, acquired by Henry Walters, 1911.

Recently, while re-installing one of the exhibition cases of Islamic arms and armor, conservators noticed bright green corrosion around the copper rivets on one of the helmets. What was causing this corrosion, and could it be stopped?

Detail of corrosion on copper rivets, before conservation treatment.

The helmet engraved with floral patterns (WAM 51.1) was made sometime in the 16th century in Turkey or Persia (modern day Iran), and was purchased in 1911 by Henry Walters. A circular mark cut into the proper right side of the helmet indicates that it was once part of the Imperial Arsenal of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul.

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Rediscovering Color on an Ancient Relief

The fragment of an ancient Roman marble relief Attendant of Mithras with signs of the zodiac (23.238) recently came to the conservation lab, giving Walters Art Museum conservators a chance to learn more about its colorful original appearance.

The fragment of an ancient Roman marble relief Attendant of Mithras with signs of the zodiac (23.238) recently came to the conservation lab, giving Walters Art Museum conservators a chance to learn more about its colorful original appearance.

The fragment was probably carved sometime in the first century A.D.  It is part of one side of a much larger carved marble relief that likely depicted the Persian creation god Mithras flanked by his two attendants and torchbearers Cautes and Cautopates, surrounded by depictions of the twelve signs of the zodiac. This fragment shows one of the attendants holding his torch downward and parts of the zodiac signs for Capricorn, Sagittarius, and Scorpio.

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Artwork Selections for #SlowArtDay 2015

The Walters Art Museum joins organizations worldwide in celebrating Slow Art Day on Saturday April 11, 2015.

Slow Art Day started in 2008 as an experiment in changing the way we view art in a museum environment. Below is a list of 5 works, selected by members of the Baltimore arts community, for you to view for 5 – 10 minutes. At 1 p.m., stop by the Café for a discussion about the experience with other participants.

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The Walters Art Museum Celebrates #heartsforart

You showed your love by voting with a big pink heart or two on Super Thursday and Valentine’s Day. Are you ready for the surprising results?

You showed your love by voting with a big pink heart or two on Super Thursday and Valentine’s Day. Are you ready for the surprising results?

Super Thursday’s top three most-loved works are The Cat Mummy in the Collector’s Study, The Altarpiece with the Passion of Christ in the Northern European Gallery of our Medieval World section, and Trophime Bigot’s Judith Decapitating Holofernes (ca. 1640). On Valentine’s Day The Altarpiece again reigned supreme, along with the combination of the Marten’s Head and Veronese’s Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and Her Daughter Deidamia. Our visitors weren’t shy about giving it up for Cordier’s African Venus, the late Medieval Crucified Christ in the Third Floor Lobby, and the inviting Banquet Couch in our Roman collection.

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ArtBytes 3 Recap

Thanks for another successful weekend of hacking the museum experience! This year, we asked participants to consider the audiences that their projects will target. Teams worked hard over the weekend and eight groups presented to qualify for a prize.

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Thanks for another successful weekend of hacking the museum experience! This year, we asked participants to consider the audiences that their projects will target. Teams worked hard over the weekend and eight groups presented to qualify for a prize. Below are the winners of the ‪‎ArtBytes‬ 3 museum hackathon:

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Walters Enthusiasts Super Thursday Scavenger Hunt

During this week’s Super Thursday Party, the Walters Enthusiasts is sponsoring a Scavenger Hunt Contest for a chance to win two tickets to see the musical Chicago at the Hippodrome or a $50 gift card to Cardinal Tavern.

Visit the Walters Enthusiasts Facebook page during the Super Thursday Party to find the scavenger hunt clues. Clues will be posted 5:30 p.m., February 12, 2015. Follow the prompts to find the correct works of art, take a photo, and have your photos vetted at the Walters Enthusiast table in the second floor lobby of the Walters Art Museum. The contest ends at 7:45 p.m. and two randomly picked winners will be announced at 8 p.m.

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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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