My first encounter with the Walters Art Museum was many, many, too many years ago as a design school grad. I was wandering around the streets of Baltimore trying to kill some time between job interviews. As I recall, I was wearing a less than subtle, interview dress with a huge wallpaper print all over it, and lugging a portfolio the size of my future minivan along with me. So as I wandered into a questionable area of town, a couple of undercover cops (or that's what I'm hoping they were) called me over and asked if I was lost. They politely redirected me towards the Walters and, now that I think about it, possibly saved my life in the process. So it goes without saying that I have a bit of a warm spot in my heart for this place.
The Walters is a huge building located at the edge of Mount Vernon. It's filled with a collection of world art from antiquity to the 20th century that was initially collected by William and Henry Walters. The collection now includes Asian, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art, to name a few.
Honestly, with young kids, I know I need to edit my trip. The staff here is really friendly and they point me in the right direction. With toddlers and preschoolers here are the key spots:
- Mummies - Head to Level 2 and check out the Egyptian art.
- Suits of Armor - The 17th century Flemish Collection (also located on level 2).
- Chamber of Wonders - In the room right next to the suits of armor. Butterflies, bugs, snakes, etc. set at a perfect height for kids to study with a magnifying glass.
- Family Art Center - In the Lower Level, they have a good selection of toys, books and costumes. They also have Drop-In Art Activities for Kids every Saturday.
The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201