Use this guide to make the most of your trip to The Walters Art Museum.
The Walters Art Museum is a Baltimore staple that has been around since 1934. The museum’s collection comprises mid-19th century works that were mostly collected and donated by father and son duo, William Thompson Walters and Henry Walters.
After allowing the public to occasionally view their private collection, Henry Walters eventually designed a structure to house and display the art permanently.
Why visit The Walters Art Museum?
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is a world-renowned museum with a collection of over 36,000 objects from around the world and spanning seven millennia. It is one of America’s most distinctive museums, forging connections between people and art from cultures around the world.
- To see a wide range of art from different cultures and time periods. The Walters Museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, textiles, and other objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, India, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Visitors can explore the museum’s galleries and see art from all over the world, from ancient mummies to Renaissance paintings to modern sculpture.
- To learn about the history of art. The Walters Museum’s collection is a great resource for learning about the history of art. Visitors can see how art has changed over time and across different cultures. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and resources for visitors of all ages.
- To see unique and rare objects. The Walters Museum’s collection includes many unique and rare objects, such as a 13th-century Ethiopian icon, a 9th-century illuminated manuscript from the Carolingian empire, and a 1st-century Roman sarcophagus. Visitors can see these objects up close and learn about their history and significance.
- To enjoy the beauty of the museum’s buildings and grounds. The Walters Museum is housed in a complex of five historic buildings, including a former mansion and a former library. The museum’s grounds also include a beautiful garden. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the museum’s buildings and grounds while they explore the collection.
When Henry Walters died, he donated the complete collection of 22,000+ works to the museum. It included ancient items from the Middle East, Roman sarcophagi, Egyptian and Greek sculptures, Renaissance bronzes, medieval ivories, Chinese ceramics, European paintings, and much more.
The permanent collection now encompasses over 36,000 objects dating back from 5,000 BC to the 21st century.
|18th & 19th CenturiesAncient AmericasAncient Egypt & NubiaAncient GreeceAncient Near EastArms and ArmorBaroque EuropeByzantium and Early RussiaChinaEthiopiaIndia, Nepal, and TibetIslamic Manuscripts||Islamic WorldJapan and KoreaJapanese Military ArmorJewelryManuscripts and Rare BooksMedieval EuropeRenaissance EuropeRoman EmpireSouth ArabiaSoutheast AsiaTextiles and Furniture|
Three Must- See Pieces:
Portrait of George Washington, 1825 – Gilbert Stuart
First Lady Martha Washington commissioned artist Gilbert Stewart to create portraits of her husband and herself for their home in Virginia in 1796. The Portrait of George Washington which is housed at the museum is that of what you see on the $1 bill. Fun fact, the President hated the painstaking process of sitting for a portrait and Stuart kept him engaged by talking about horses.
The Death of Caesar, 1867 – Jean-Léon Gérôme
Artist Jean-Léon Gérôme spent over eight years researching the events that led up to and the eventual demise of Caesar. This piece has vivid detail of the sixty senators who arrived with swords beneath their robes on the Ides of March to ruthlessly stab the dictator, Julius Caesar. It is one of the most accurate visual descriptions of what happened that day and many critics claim that the painting is what would have been captured had photography existed at that time.
Bracelets from the Olbia Treasure, late 2nd century BCE – Unknown Greek Artist
Belonging to the famed Olbia Treasure, this impressive pair of gold bracelets is decorated with gemstones and enamel of multiple colors and sizes. The bracelets were unearthed from a tomb in present day Ukraine.
There are several events hosted by the museum throughout the year including performances, art workshops, talks, lectures, and tours. There are several programs specifically for children and families such as their Drop-In Art Making which are free for the general public. They celebrate festivals such as Día de los Muertos and the Lunar New Year. It’s a wonderful way to get together with the community and embrace diverse cultures.
Becoming a member at The Walters Art Museum supports them in many ways and in return, you’ll have access to members-only events and private lectures and viewings. To become a member, it costs $100 for an individual and $150 for a joint membership.
Admission, Hours, & Accessibility
Admission to The Walters Art Museum is always free for anyone to explore thanks to the many grants provided by art agencies as well as the city of Baltimore.
- Wednesday: 10 AM to 5 PM
- Thursday: 1 PM to 8 PM
- Friday – Sunday: 10 AM to 5 PM
The Walters Art Museum aims to be as accessible as possible to all visitors. Visitors with limited mobility should enter through the main Centre Street entrance, as it is fitted with a wheelchair lift. The parking lot at 600 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201 (LAZ Parking) provides accessible parking. Other features include elevators in all of the public areas of the museum and free first-come, first-serve wheelchairs which are available at the Visitor Experience Desk. Service animals are welcome at the museum.
The museum houses complimentary lockers for visitors to store any sizable items to lighten their load during their visit. Strollers are usually allowed in the museum and all children under the age of thirteen must be accompanied by an adult.
The Walters Art Museum is located in the historic Mount Vernon Cultural District, a mile from the Inner Harbor, at 600 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. For GPS or rideshares, use the following address to get to the main entrance: 10 W. Centre Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.
If you’re using public transit, you can get to the museum using MTA bus lines (Silver, Green, Yellow, Pink, Purple, 95, 51, 103), the Charm City Circulator (free) (Purple line – stop number 307), or the Centre Street light rail stop.
Parking is available for a fee at the corner of Centre and Cathedral Streets (600 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201). This particular parking lot, LAZ Parking, is open 24/7 and prices can vary depending on the time and day you’re there; a weekday will cost approximately $20 for three hours.
Museum members qualify for a reduced rate at this parking lot, but you will need proof of membership. There are several other parking garages as well as free and metered street parking surrounding the museum.
The Walters Art Museum is often overlooked for the Baltimore Museum of Art, but it is truly one of the city’s many hidden gems. You can spend hours exploring the different rooms, taking in the mixed media of art, or just relaxing with a drink or a bite to eat at the Walters Cafe.
The details provided regarding The Walters Art Museum were current at the time of writing this article; please contact them at 410-547-9000 to confirm details prior to visiting.
The Walters Art Museum FAQ
What is the Walters Art Museum?
The Walters Art Museum is a public museum located in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1934 by Henry Walters and features collections of art from around the world.
What types of art are on display at the Walters Art Museum?
The Walters Art Museum features collections of art from ancient times to the 19th century, including paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, decorative arts, and more.
Is there an admission fee to visit the Walters Art Museum?
No, admission to the Walters Art Museum is free. However, some special exhibitions may have an admission fee.
What are the museum’s hours of operation?
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Thursdays from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Does the Walters Art Museum offer guided tours?
Yes, the museum offers free guided tours of its collections, as well as self-guided tours using audio guides or mobile apps.
Is the Walters Art Museum wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the museum is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. The museum also offers assistive listening devices and large-print materials.
Does the museum have a gift shop?
Yes, the Walters Art Museum has a gift shop that offers a variety of books, jewelry, home decor, and other items related to the museum’s collections.
Is photography allowed inside the museum?
Yes, photography is allowed in most areas of the museum for personal use only. However, flash photography and tripods are not allowed, and some special exhibitions may have photography restrictions.
Is food and drink allowed inside the museum?
No, food and drink are not allowed inside the museum. However, there is a café on site where visitors can purchase refreshments.
Is there parking available at the museum?
No, the museum does not have its own parking lot. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation or to park in nearby garages or street parking.
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