Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Walters, Henry, 1848-1931

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role Collector
dates 1848-1931
city New York City
other citiesWilmington, NC; Baltimore, MD;
sex M
historical notes Art collector, American rail magnate (Atlantic Coast Line) and founder of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Henry, son of William T. Walters, ran the family railroad business, Atlantic Coastline Railroad, from New York while maintaining a residence in Baltimore (though legend has it that he only spent a total of one night in Baltimore). Walters was aggressive in his development of the collection; in 1901, Walters purchased the 1500-piece Marcello Massarenti collection that included medieval and Renaissance panel paintings, decorative arts, and a thirteenth-century Cimabue crucifix.

Although Henry did not have a specific art advisor, he possessed a tasteful instinct seen in such acquisitions as the Rubens vase, St. Dénis stained glass, medieval illuminated manuscripts, and Islamic pieces. It was only after his father’s death that Henry began collecting Impressionist work and fin de siècle, art nouveau decorative arts. To accommodate the ever-growing collection, Walters expanded the Mount Vernon Place gallery by purchasing adjoining town homes on Charles Street. The new space officially opened in 1909. Walters bequeathed the Walters Art Gallery collections to the city of Baltimore in 1931.

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updated 03/22/2024 12:09:29
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
Walters Art Museum
Walters Art Gallery Archives see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
William Henry Rinehart Fund records, 1875-1930. see details...

see also:
Walters, W. T. (William Thompson), 1819-1894