Henry Walters was noted as an art collector and philanthropist, a founder of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, which he donated to the city in his 1931 will for the benefit of the public. From the late 19th century, Walters lived most of the time in New York City, where from 1903 on, he served on the executive committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, he was selected as second vice president in a position he held until his death. Like his father William Thompson Walters, he was a businessman in the railroad industry, serving as president of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, established by his father. Henry Walters was born in 1848 to William Thompson Walters, a businessman who founded the southeastern railroad line, Atlantic Coast Line Company. Henry graduated from Georgetown University in 1869, he did graduate work in the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University from 1869–72. In 1889 Walters moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, to serve as general manager of his father's railroad, the Atlantic Coast Line Company.
Following his father's death in 1894, Henry Walters was elected president of the Atlantic Coast Line Company. He transferred the line's headquarters to New York. Under his leadership, the railroad experienced rapid growth until World War I. In 1902 Walters took control of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. In New York, Walters lived with Pembroke and Sarah Jones, friends whom he had met in Wilmington, North Carolina; each of them was interested in art, their town house was filled with their collections. Did Walters return to Baltimore other than to attend board meetings of the Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Three years after Pembroke Jones' death in 1919, Walters married the widow Sarah Jones in 1922, his first marriage, they continued living in the Manhattan house surrounded by their art collections. He died in 1931; when his father died in 1894, he bequeathed his collection to Henry Walters, who expanded the scope of acquisitions. He purchased the contents of a palace in Rome. In September 1900, Henry bought the three houses adjoining the property owned by his father in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, in order to house and display the full collection.
He had the site designed and adapted as a palazzo-style building, which opened to the public in 1909 as the Walters Art Gallery. Walters died in 1931, leaving the building and its contents to the mayor and city council of Baltimore "for the benefit of the public." The Walters Art Museum opened its doors for the first time as a public institution on November 3, 1934. Walters donated four public bath houses to the City of Baltimore. Walters Bath No. 2 was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Henry Walters envisaged a museum that would fulfill an educational role within the community, but made modest additions to his father's collection. In 1897 his purchase of a 15th-century Koran thought to be Persian, but now regarded as Indian, may have initiated the manuscript collection. In 1900 Walters bought Raphael's Madonna of the Candelabra, which had passed through both the Borghese and Bonaparte family collections; the USPS featured this painting on their 2011 Christmas stamp. In 1902 he undertook an acquisition on a scale unprecedented in the history of American collecting: he bought the contents of the Palazzo Accoramboni in Rome.
The collection abounded in significant works, many of them found to be by masters other than those to whom they had been ascribed, others by artists not in fashion at that time. In the latter category fell El Greco's painting, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata. Among the collection's archeological treasures were seven magnificent sarcophagi from a burial chamber associated with the Calpurnii Pisones family. Walters agreed to buy the collection for the sum of five million FF or $1,000,000, he enhanced the breadth of the 19th-century holdings with such early works as Ingres' The Betrothal of Raphael and the Niece of Cardinal Bibbiena, bought in 1903. Although Walters was not fond of French Impressionism, he bought two works in 1903 from American artist Mary Cassatt, including Claude Monet's Springtime. Walters continued buying both in New York and abroad, he collected Egyptian, ancient Near Eastern, Islamic art, as well as a number of key classical and western medieval objects. These included a pair of limestone heads of Old Testament rulers that came from the abbey church of Saint-Denis.
Beginning in 1903, Walters served on the executive committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1913 he became a position he retained for the rest of his life, his experiences on a number of museum committees may have resulted in a change of direction in his collecting after World War I. He shifted from acquiring works representative of various fields and more committed to objects of major historical and artistic significance. Media related to Henry Walters at Wikimedia Commons
Bernard Berenson was an American art historian specializing in the Renaissance. His book Drawings of the Florentine Painters was an international success, his wife Mary is thought to have had a large hand in some of the writings. Berenson was a major figure in the attribution of Old Masters, at a time when these were attracting new interest by American collectors, his judgments were respected in the art world. Recent research has cast doubt on some of his authentications, which may have been influenced by the exceptionally high commissions paid to him. Berenson was born Bernhard Valvrojenski in Butrimonys, Vilnius Governorate to a Litvak family - father Albert Valvrojenski, mother Judith Mickleshanski, younger siblings including Senda Berenson Abbott, his father Albert grew up following an educational track of classical Jewish learning and contemplated becoming a rabbi. However, he became a practitioner of Haskalah, a European movement which advocated more integration of Jews into secular society.
After his home and lumber business were burned to the ground, he lived with his more traditionalist in-laws who pressured him to enroll Bernard with a Hebrew and Aramaic tutor. They emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts from the Vilnius Governorate of the Russian Empire in 1875, whereupon the family name was changed to "Berenson." Berenson converted to Christianity in 1885. While living in Italy, he converted to Catholicism. After graduating from Boston Latin School he attended the Boston University College of Liberal Arts as a freshman during 1883–84, unable to obtain instruction in Sanskrit from that institution, transferred to Harvard University for his sophomore year, he graduated from Harvard and married Mary Smith, who became a notable art historian in her own right. Mary was the sister of Logan Pearsall Smith and of Alys Pearsall Smith, the first wife of Bertrand Russell. Mary had been married to barrister Frank Costelloe. Bernard Berenson was involved in a long relationship with Belle da Costa Greene.
Samuels mentions Mary's "reluctant acceptance" of this relationship. Among his friends there are: American writer Ray Bradbury, who wrote about their friendship in The Wall Street Journal and in his book of essays, Yestermorrow, his circle of friends included Isabella Stewart Gardner, Ralph Adams Cram and George Santayana, the latter two having met each other through Bernard. Marisa Berenson, an actress, is a distant cousin of Berenson's through Louis Kossivitsky. Louis was a nephew of Albert Valvrojenski, the orphaned son of his sister. On arrival in the U. S. both Koussivitsky and Valvrojenski took the name of Berenson. Her sister, Berry Berenson, was an actress/photographer, the wife of actor Anthony Perkins. Berry died in 2001 attacks in New York City. Among US collectors of the early 1900s, Berenson was regarded as the pre-eminent authority on Renaissance art. Early in his career, Berenson developed his own unique method of connoisseurship by combining the comparative examination techniques of Giovanni Morelli with the aesthetic idea put forth by John Addington Symonds that something of an artist's personality could be detected through his works of art.
While his approach remained controversial among European art historians and connoisseurs, he played a pivotal role as an advisor to several important American art collectors, such as Isabella Stewart Gardner, who needed help in navigating the complex and treacherous market of newly fashionable Renaissance art. Berenson's expertise became so well regarded that his verdict of authorship could either increase or decrease a painting's value dramatically. In this respect Berenson's influence was enormous. Starting with his The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance with an Index to their Works, his mix of connoisseurship and systematic approach proved immensely successful. In 1895 his Lorenzo Lotto, an Essay on Constructive Art Criticism won wide critical acclaim, notably by Heinrich Wölfflin, it was followed by The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance, lauded by William James for its innovative application of "elementary psychological categories to the interpretation of higher art". In 1897 Berenson added another work to his series of scholarly yet handy guides publishing The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance.
After that he devoted six years of pioneering work to what is regarded as his deepest and most substantial book, The Drawings of the Florentine Painters, published in 1903. In 1907 he published his The North Italian Painters of the Renaissance, where he expressed a devastating and still controversial judgement of Mannerist art, which may be related to his love for Classicism and his professed distaste for Modern Art, his early works were integrated in his most famous book, The Italian Painters of the Renaissance, translated and reprinted. He published two volumes of journals, "Rumor and Reflection" and "Sunset and Twilight", he is the author of Aesthetics and History and Sketch for a Self-portrait. His beautiful residence in Settignano near Florence, called'I Tatti' since at least the 17th century, was willed to Harvard at his death and became The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, a research center offering a residential fellowship to scholars working on
Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio whose formal name was Bernardino di Betto known as Benetto di Biagio or Sordicchio, was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. Born in Perugia in 1454 and dying in Siena in 1513, Pintoricchio acquired his nickname, because of his small stature, he used it to sign some of his 15th and 16th century artworks. Pinturicchio was born the son of Betto di Blagio, in Perugia. In his career, he may have trained under lesser known Perugian painters such as Bonfigli and Fiorenzo di Lorenzo. According to Vasari, Pinturicchio was a paid assistant of Perugino; the works of the Perugian Renaissance school are similar. In the execution of large frescoes and assistants had a large share in the work, either in enlarging the master's sketch to the full-sized cartoon, in transferring the cartoon to the wall, or in painting backgrounds or accessories, his assignment in Rome, to decorate the Sistine Chapel, was an experience fraught with learning from prominent artists of the time, including: Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Vanucci, Luca Signorelli.
The Sistine Chapel was where it is believed that Pinturicchio was collaborating with Perugino to some extent. After assisting Perugino in his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, Pinturicchio was employed by various members of the Della Rovere family to decorate the Semi-Gods Ceiling of Palazzo dei Penitenzieri and a series of chapels in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, where he appears to have worked from 1484, or earlier, to 1492. "Would be, if it had been left with all its original decorations, one of the finest monuments to Pintoricchio’s art in Italy. A great deal still remains, but much has been swept away", sums up his work in that basilica Evelyn March Phillipps; the earliest of his works is an altarpiece of the Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Della Rovere Chapel, the first chapel on the south, built by Cardinal Domenico della Rovere. In the lunettes under the vault Pinturicchio painted small scenes from the life of St Jerome; the polychrome grotesque wall decoration on yellow-gold background were inspired by the paintings of the Domus Aurea, belong the earliest and highest quality of their kind in Rome.
The frescos which he painted in the Cybo Chapel, built by Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo de Mari in the beginning of the 16th century, were destroyed in 1682, when the chapel was rebuilt by Cardinal Alderano Cybo. The old fresco of the Virgin and the Child by Pinturicchio was detached from the wall and sent by the cardinal to Massa in 1687; the fragment was re-used as the altarpiece of the Ducal Chapel of the Cathedral of Massa. The third chapel on the south is that of Girolamo Basso della Rovere, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, bishop of Recanati; the Basso Della Rovere Chapel contains a fine altarpiece of the Madonna enthroned between Four Saints, on the east side a nobly composed fresco of the Assumption of the Virgin. The vault and its lunettes are richly decorated with small pictures of the Life of the Virgin, surrounded by graceful arabesques. In the Costa Chapel, Pinturicchio or one of his helpers painted the Four Latin Doctors in the lunettes of the vault. Most of these frescoes are injured by moisture and have suffered little from restoration.
The last paintings completed by Pinturicchio in this church are found on the vault behind the choir, where he painted decorative frescoes, with main lines arranged to suit their surroundings in a skilful way. In the centre is an octagonal panel of the Coronation of the Virgin, surrounding it, are medallions of the Four Evangelists; the spaces between them are filled by reclining figures of the Four Sibyls. On each pendentive is a figure of one of the Four Doctors enthroned under a niched canopy; the bands which separate these pictures have elaborate arabesques on a gold ground, the whole is painted with broad and effective touches telling when seen from a considerable distance below. No finer specimen of the decoration of a simple quadripartite vault can be seen anywhere. In 1492, Pinturicchio was summoned to Orvieto Cathedral, he was employed by Pope Alexander VI to decorate a completed suite of six rooms, the Borgia Apartments in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. These rooms now form part of the Vatican Library, five still retain a series of Pinturicchio frescoes.
The Umbrian painter worked in these rooms till around 1494, assisted by his pupils, not without interruption. It was not until Pope Alexander VI died that Pinturicchio left Rome for Umbria, leaving much of the work in Rome to be completed by Michelangelo and company, his other chief frescoes in Rome, still existing in good condition, are in the Bufalini Chapel in the southwest sector of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli executed around 1484-1486. On the altar wall is a grand painting of St. Bernardino of Siena between two other saints, crowned by angels. One group of three females, the central figure with a child at her breast, recalls the grace of Raphael's second manner; the composition of the main group round the saint's corpse appears to have been suggested by Giotto's painting of St
Perugia is the capital city of both the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber, of the province of Perugia. The city is located about 164 kilometres north of 148 km southeast of Florence, it covers a high part of the valleys around the area. The region of Umbria is bordered by Tuscany and Marche; the history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. The city is known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308, the University for Foreigners, some smaller colleges such as the Academy of Fine Arts "Pietro Vannucci" public athenaeum founded in 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded in 1788, other institutes. Perugia is a well-known cultural and artistic centre of Italy; the city hosts multiple annual festivals and events, e.g. the Eurochocolate Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the International Journalism Festival, is associated with multiple notable people in the arts.
The famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, was a native of Città della Pieve, near Perugia. He decorated the local Sala del Cambio with a beautiful series of frescoes. Perugino was the teacher of Raphael, the great Renaissance artist who produced five paintings in Perugia and one fresco. Another famous painter, lived in Perugia. Galeazzo Alessi is the most famous architect from Perugia; the city's symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city. Perugia was an Umbrian settlement but first appears in written history as Perusia, one of the 12 confederate cities of Etruria. Fabius Pictor's account, utilized by Livy, of the expedition carried out against the Etruscan League by Fabius Maximus Rullianus in 310 or 309 BC. At that time a thirty-year indutiae was agreed upon. In 216 and 205 BC it assisted Rome in the Second Punic War but afterwards it is not mentioned until 41–40 BC, when Lucius Antonius took refuge there, was reduced by Octavian after a long siege, its senators sent to their death.
A number of lead bullets used by slingers have been found around the city. The city was burnt, we are told, with the exception of the temples of Vulcan and Juno—the massive Etruscan terrace-walls can hardly have suffered at all—and the town, with the territory for a mile round, was allowed to be occupied by whoever chose, it must have been rebuilt at once, for several bases for statues exist, inscribed Augusto sacr Perusia restituta. Vibius Trebonianus Gallus, it is hardly mentioned except by the geographers until it was the only city in Umbria to resist Totila, who captured it and laid the city waste in 547, after a long siege after the city's Byzantine garrison evacuated. Negotiations with the besieging forces fell to the city's bishop, Herculanus, as representative of the townspeople. Totila is said to have ordered the bishop to be beheaded. St. Herculanus became the city's patron saint. In the Lombard period Perugia is spoken of as one of the principal cities of Tuscia. In the 9th century, with the consent of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, it passed under the popes.
In 1186 Henry VI, rex romanorum and future emperor, granted diplomatic recognition to the consular government of the city. On various occasions the popes found asylum from the tumults of Rome within its walls, it was the meeting-place of five conclaves, including those that elected Honorius III, Clement IV, Celestine V, Clement V, but Perugia had no mind to subserve the papal interests and never accepted papal sovereignty: the city used to exercise a jurisdiction over the members of the clergy, moreover in 1282 Perugia was excommunicated due to a new military offensive against the Ghibellines regardless of a papal prohibition. On the other hand, side by side with the 13th century bronze griffin of Perugia above the door of the Palazzo dei Priori stands, as a Guelphic emblem, the lion, Perugia remained loyal for the most part to the Guelph party in the struggles of Guelphs and Ghibellines; however this dominant tendency was rather an Italian political strategy. The Angevin presence in Italy appeared to offer a counterpoise to papal powers: in 1319 Perugia declared the Angevin Saint Louis of Toulouse "Protector of the city's sovereignty and of the Palazzo of its Priors" and set his figure among the other patron saints above the rich doorway of the Palazzo dei P
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria
The Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria the Italian national paintings collection of Umbria, housed in the Palazzo dei Priori, Perugia, in central Italy. Located on the upper floors of the Palazzo dei Priori, the exhibition spaces occupy two floors and the collection comprises the greatest representation of the Umbrian School of painting, ranging from the 13th to the 19th century, strongest in the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries; the collection is presented in 40 exhibition rooms in the Palazzo. On the second floor of the Gallery, there is an exhibition space for temporary collections, changed several times a year; the collection's origins lie in the foundation of the Perugian Accademia del Disegno in the mid-16th century. The Academy was based in the Convento degli Olivetani at Montemorcino, where it began to assemble a collection of paintings and drawings; the town became part of the French department of Trasimène in 1798 and its religious houses were suppressed. This suppression was repeated by the united Kingdom of Italy from the 1860s onwards - both suppressions shifted a large number of paintings and artworks from church to state ownership.
In 1863, the civic paintings collection was formally named after Pietro Vannucci, but the problem of establishing an appropriate site to house the collection was not solved until 1878, when it moved into the third floor of the Palazzo dei Priori in the town centre. With the addition of acquisitions and bequests, the pinacoteca became the Regia Galleria Vannucci in 1918, under the patronage of the king; the name was changed to Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria. Over the years the entire complex of Palazzo dei Priori has been affected by renovations and functional adaptation; the museum path, inaugurated in its current form in 2006, occupies an area of 4000 square meters on two floors. Chronologically ordered, the permanent collection has Renaissance and Medieval paintings and sculptures from Italian artists such as Arnolfo di Cambio, Nicola Pisano, Giovanni Pisano, Gentile da Fabriano, Fra Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Giovanni Boccati and Piero della Francesca; the particular attention of the collection is given to the Umbrian masters.
A brief overview of the museum in the official website lists: First Floor Halls 1-4 13th and 14th-century paintings and sculptures, including Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio Halls 5-7 15th-century Sienese and Florentine painting, including Duccio di Boninsegna Halls 8-11 Renaissance masterworks: Beato Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Piero della Francesca Halls 12-16 15th-century Marchigian and Umbrian paintings, including Benedetto Bonfigli Hall 17 The "Treasure" - 13th to 15th century jewelry and ivory Hall 18 Sala del Delegato - umbrian tapestry Hall 19 Agostino di Duccio sculptural fragments Hall 20 Arti minori Hall 21 Cappella dei PrioriSecond Floor Halls 22-26 Renaissance masterworks: Perugino and Francesco di Giorgio Martini Halls 27–30 First half of 16th-century Umbrian painting Halls 31-33 Umbrian Mannerism Sala dell’Orologio Halls 33-34 Martinelli Collection Halls 35-37 1500-1600: Classicism and Caravaggisti.
Saint Jerome was a Christian priest, confessor and historian. He was born at a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia, he is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin, his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive; the protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention on the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life; this focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families. Jerome is recognised as a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Communion, his feast day is 30 September. Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus was born at Stridon around 347AD, he was of Illyrian ancestry, although his ability to speak the Illyrian languages causes controversy.
He was not baptized until about 360–366, when he had gone to Rome with his friend Bonosus of Sardica to pursue rhetorical and philosophical studies. He studied under the grammarian Aelius Donatus. There Jerome learned Latin and at least some Greek, though not the familiarity with Greek literature he would claim to have acquired as a schoolboy; as a student in Rome, Jerome engaged in the superficial escapades and sexual experimentation of students there, which he indulged in quite casually but for which he suffered terrible bouts of guilt afterwards. To appease his conscience, he would visit on Sundays the sepulchres of the martyrs and the Apostles in the catacombs; this experience would remind him of the terrors of hell: Often I would find myself entering those crypts, deep dug in the earth, with their walls on either side lined with the bodies of the dead, where everything was so dark that it seemed as though the Psalmist's words were fulfilled, Let them go down quick into Hell. Here and there the light, not entering in through windows, but filtering down from above through shafts, relieved the horror of the darkness.
But again, as soon as you found yourself cautiously moving forward, the black night closed around and there came to my mind the line of Vergil, "Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent". Jerome used a quote from Virgil—"On all sides round horror spread wide. Jerome used classical authors to describe Christian concepts such as hell that indicated both his classical education and his deep shame of their associated practices, such as pederasty, found in Rome. Although skeptical of Christianity, he was converted. After several years in Rome, he travelled with Bonosus to Gaul and settled in Trier where he seems to have first taken up theological studies, where, for his friend Tyrannius Rufinus, he copied Hilary of Poitiers' commentary on the Psalms and the treatise De synodis. Next came a stay of at least several months, or years, with Rufinus at Aquileia, where he made many Christian friends; some of these accompanied Jerome when about 373, he set out on a journey through Thrace and Asia Minor into northern Syria.
At Antioch, where he stayed the longest, two of his companions died and he himself was ill more than once. During one of these illnesses, he had a vision that led him to lay aside his secular studies and devote himself to God, he seems to have abstained for a considerable time from the study of the classics and to have plunged into that of the Bible, under the impulse of Apollinaris of Laodicea teaching in Antioch and not yet suspected of heresy. Seized with a desire for a life of ascetic penance, Jerome went for a time to the desert of Chalcis, to the southeast of Antioch, known as the "Syrian Thebaid", from the number of eremites inhabiting it. During this period, he seems to have found time for writing, he made his first attempt to learn Hebrew under the guidance of a converted Jew. Around this time he had copied for him a Hebrew Gospel, of which fragments are preserved in his notes, is known today as the Gospel of the Hebrews, which the Nazarenes considered to be the true Gospel of Matthew.
Jerome translated parts of this Hebrew Gospel into Greek. Returning to Antioch in 378 or 379, Jerome was ordained there by Bishop Paulinus unwillingly and on condition that he continue his ascetic life. Soon afterward, he went to Constantinople to pursue a study of Scripture under Gregory Nazianzen, he seems to have spent two years there left, the next three he was in Rome again, as secretary to Pope Damasus I and the leading Roman Christians. Invited for the synod of 382, held to end the schism of Antioch as there were rival claimants to be the proper patriarch in Antioch. Jerome had accompanied one of the claimants, Paulinus back to Rome in order to get more support for him, distinguishing himself to the pope, took a prominent place in his papal councils. Jerome was given duties in Rome, he undertook a revision of the Latin Bible, to be based on the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, he updated the Psalter containing the Book of Psalms in use in Rome, based on the Septuagint. Though he did not realize it
Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum, located in Mount Vernon-Belvedere, Maryland, United States, is a public art museum founded and opened in 1934. It holds collections established during the mid-19th century; the Museum's collection was amassed by major American art and sculpture collectors, a father and son: William Thompson Walters, who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris as a nominal Southern/Confederate sympathizer at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. After allowing the Baltimore public to view his father's and his growing added collections at his West Mount Vernon Place townhouse/mansion during the late 1800s, he arranged for an elaborate stone palazzo-styled structure built for that purpose in 1905–1909. Located across the back alley, a block south of the Walters mansion on West Monument Street/Mount Vernon Place, on the northwest corner of North Charles Street at West Centre Street; the mansion and gallery were just south and west of the landmark Washington Monument in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood, just north of the downtown business district and northeast of Cathedral Hill.
Upon his 1931 death, Henry Walters bequeathed the entire collection of more than 22,000 works, the original Charles Street Gallery building, his adjacent townhouse/mansion just across the alley to the north on West Mount Vernon Place to the City of Baltimore, "for the benefit of the public." The collection includes masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master European and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, Art Deco jewelry, ancient Near East, Mesopotamian, or ancient Middle East items. In 2000, "The Walters Art Gallery" changed its long-time name to "The Walters Art Museum" to reflect its image as a large public institution and eliminate confusion among some of the increasing out-of-state visitors; the following year, "The Walters" reopened its original main building after a dramatic three-year physical renovation and replacement of internal utilities and infrastructure. The Archimedes Palimpsest was on loan to the Walters Art Museum from a private collector for conservation and spectral imaging studies.
Starting on October 1, 2006, the museum began having free admission year-round as a result of substantial grants given by Baltimore City and the surrounding suburban Baltimore County arts agencies and authorities. In 2012, "The Walters" released nearly 20,000 of its own images of its collections on a Creative Commons license, collaborated in their upload to the world-wide web and the internet on Wikimedia Commons; this was one of the most comprehensive such releases made by any museum. The Walters' collection of ancient art includes examples from Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Near East. Highlights include two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the Egyptian lion-headed fire goddess Sekhmet. In 1911, Henry Walters purchased 100 gold artifacts from the Chiriqui region of western Panama in Central America, creating a core collection of ancient American native art. Through subsequent gifts of art and loans, the museum has added works in pottery and stone, from Mexico, Central America and South America, including pieces from the Mesoamerican Olmec and Maya cultures, as well as the Moche and Inca peoples of South America.
Highlights of the Asian art collection assembled earlier by Baltimorean father and son collectors William T. and Henry Walters include Japanese arms and armor, Chinese and Japanese porcelains and metalwork. Among the museum's outstanding works of Asian art is a late-12th- or early-13th-century Cambodian bronze of the eight-armed Avalokiteshvara, a T'ang Dynasty earthenware camel, an intricately painted Ming Dynasty wine jar; the museum owns the oldest surviving Chinese wood-and-lacquer image of the Buddha. It is exhibited in a gallery dedicated to this work; the museum holds one of the largest and finest collections of Thai bronze and banner paintings in the world. Islamic art in all media is represented at the Walters. Among the highlights are a 7th-century carved and hammered silver bowl from Iran,; the Walters Museum owns an array of Islamic manuscripts. These include a 15th-century Koran from northern India, executed at the height of the Timurid Empire. Walters Art Museum, MS W.613 contains five Mughal miniatures from an important "Khamsa of Nizami" made for the Emperor Akbar.
Henry Walters assembled a collection of art produced