Audrey and Harry Lesner, otherwise known as The Budget Savvy Travelers, are full-time travelers and digital nomads. Born and raised in Chicago, their passion to show others how to break free without breaking the budget. They are the proud winners of the 2019 Top Budget Travel Blog.
The Walters Art Museum is a public art museum established in 1934. The museum's collection was compiled in the 19th-century by a father-son duo named William Thompson Walters and Henry Walters. William began collecting artwork seriously when he moved to Paris at the start of the American Civil War in 1861. After his father's death, Henry took over the collection. After occasionally allowing the public to view his pieces, he eventually commissioned an elaborate landmark building to house the private collection.
Upon his own death in 1931, Henry Walters entrusted over 22,000 pieces to the city of Baltimore "for the benefit of the public." Artifacts from the Walters' collection spans over 7,000 years—ranging from 5,000 BC to the 21st-century. Today, the museum has approximately 36,000 objects in the collection.
The Walters Art Museum believes that hosting programs and events only enhances their collection by offering new insights into both past civilizations and modern culture. Lectures, guided tours, and talks bring history to life, while art-making events encourage creativity. There are also organized music festivals and appreciation nights. Annually, the museum proudly hosts over 70,000 participants for its organized events. Therefore, it successfully fulfills its mission to encourage the Baltimore community to come together through art and history.
For visitors short on time or overwhelmed by the magnitude of the collection, the museum has organized a one hour, self-guided tour. Guided experiences are also offered—free of charge with no prior registration necessary. Both tours begin in the Walters' Centre Street building. The staff is known to be extremely welcoming and friendly so enquire about the tours upon your arrival at the Help Desk.
The Walters Art Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. Operating hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, on Thursday the museum remains open until 9 p.m. Complimentary lockers are located in the main lobby of the Centre Street Building. Any large bags or tripods must be stored away before entering. Although some special events and exhibitions may require an additional fee, general admission to the museum has been free for all guests since 2006.
Cover image by Dylan k via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).