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Photo, Print, Drawing Walters Art Gallery, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Independent City, MD

[ Data Pages from Survey HABS MD-1209  ]

More Resources

[ Photo Captions from Survey HABS MD-1209  ]

About this Item

Title

  • Walters Art Gallery, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Independent City, MD

Names

  • Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
  • Walters, William T
  • Walters, Henry
  • Delano & Aldrich
  • Pope, John Russell
  • Barye, Antoine Louis
  • Price, Virginia B, transmitter

Created / Published

  • Documentation compiled after 1933

Headings

  • -  galleries & museums
  • -  art exhibitions
  • -  Maryland -- Independent City -- Baltimore

Latitude / Longitude

  • 39.296571,-76.615863

Notes

  • -  Significance: The present museum complex is heir to a long history of philanthropy and cultural institutions centering around the Mount Vernon Place neighborhood of Baltimore. Once the monument to George Washington was erected (1815) and the parks and the Howard family lots platted (1830s), Baltimoreans began to live there. In the 1850s, the trustees of the Peabody Institute selected East Mount Vernon Place as the site for their library, music academy, art gallery, and lecture series. Members of the group selected by George Peabody to administer the Institute followed his lead and in turn sponsored their own civic-minded, academic-leaning entities. These were the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Johns Hopkins University. Other trustees gave collections of art and books to the Institute, such as John Work Garrett and John Pendleton Kennedy. William T. Walters and his son Henry were also trustees for the Peabody and were both involved with its art gallery, however, it was their private art collection that flourished. The elder Walters opened his house at No. 5 West Mount Vernon Place to the public on selected days beginning in 1874, and continuing annually from 1876 onward. He installed paintings in the space over the rear stable building in the 1870s and in 1883-84 expanded to create a new gallery on the lot behind the residence. Formerly 606 Washington Place, this space was connected to the Walters family house by a walkway extending out over the alleyway; the gallery featured ebonized woodwork, plum damask wall coverings, red-and-green Indian carpet runners, and plastered ceiling coves molded with Louis XVI designs which were then painted olive green. Paintings were double and triple hung on the walls. In 1884, the opening was a grand affair and was accompanied by the first painting catalogue. The admission fees were then donated to a local poor association. Henry Walters continued this tradition, except in the early 1900s he commissioned the architectural firm Delano and Aldrich to design a purpose-built structure to hold the burgeoning collection. This building faced Washington Place and was just around the corner from Walters's dwelling. The museum welcomed the public in early February of 1909. Henry Walters bequeathed his house, museum building, and collection to the city of Baltimore upon his death in 1931. The city re-opened the gallery in 1934 and changed the name to the Walters Art Museum amidst work on the new atrium entrance in October of 2000. Both Walters traveled intensively and lived abroad for a number of years. The younger Walters inherited wealth and fine art from his father, but added his fortune and his artworks to William T. Walters's legacy. At the time of his death, Henry Walters lived mostly in New York City and was said to be one of the richest men in the country. Cosmopolitan as he was, Walters likely tapped the young architectural firm Delano and Aldrich to design his gallery in 1903 because his sister Jennie was married to Warren Delano III, a relative of the architect William Adams Delano. Similarly, his wife's son-in-law John Russell Pope planned for interior alterations to the building around the time of Walters' death. Family connections drew Walters into an architectural discourse traceable to the Ecole de Beaux Arts and explain his design choice for a classical, rusticated and rather severe block at the corner of Charles and Centre streets for his museum building.
  • -  Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N1437
  • -  Survey number: HABS MD-1209
  • -  Building/structure dates: 1905-1909 Initial Construction
  • -  Building/structure dates: 1970-1974 Subsequent Work
  • -  Building/structure dates: 1989-1991 Subsequent Work
  • -  Building/structure dates: 1998-2001 Subsequent Work

Medium

  • Photo(s): 2
  • Data Page(s): 47
  • Photo Caption Page(s): 1

Call Number/Physical Location

  • HABS MD-1209

Source Collection

  • Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Repository

  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Control Number

  • md1689

Rights Advisory

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

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  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted. https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html
  • Reproduction Number: ---
  • Call Number: HABS MD-1209
  • Access Advisory: ---

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, William T Walters, Henry Walters, Delano & Aldrich, John Russell Pope, and Antoine Louis Barye. Walters Art Gallery, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Independent City, MD. Maryland Baltimore Independent City, 1933. translateds by Price, Virginia Bmitter Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/md1689/.

APA citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Walters, W. T., Walters, H., Delano & Aldrich, Pope, J. R. & Barye, A. L. (1933) Walters Art Gallery, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Independent City, MD. Maryland Baltimore Independent City, 1933. Price, V. B., trans Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/md1689/.

MLA citation style:

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, et al. Walters Art Gallery, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Independent City, MD. trans by Price, Virginia Bmitter Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/md1689/>.