Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

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

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role Collector
dates 1819-1894
city Baltimore
other citiesLiverpool, PA;
sex M
historical notes William Walters (1819–1894) amassed his fortune derived from the wholesale whiskey business, shipping merchant and railroad magnate and by 1841 the Baltimore patriarch was actively collecting art of his own time and region.

Of particular interest were Asher B. Durand and Richard Canton Woodville. During the Civil War, Walters relocated his family to Paris where the collection would take considerable shape and scope. It was in Paris that Walters met art collector and agent George Lucas. With Lucas as his advisor, Walters commissioned several paintings while actively collecting works from the Barbizon School. By 1862, Walters was also collecting Oriental porcelain – a premiere collection that resulted in the publication of Oriental Ceramic Art, a history of the collection. The Mount Vernon Place town home served as the gallery space for the collection and was routinely open to the public for an admission price of fifty cents. By 1894, this gallery opened permanently to the public as the Walters Art Gallery.

Following his death in 1894, William Walters bequeathed the extensive collection to his son, Henry Walters (1848-1931).

According to The Art Treasures of American Art, Walters owned Jean Léon Gérôme's "The Duel After the Masquerade," Florent Willems' "To the King!", and other art works by A. Achenbach, L. Alma-Tadema, G. A. Baker, Carl Baker, Carl Becker, A. Bida, C. Bischoff, E. J. Boks, G. Boldini, Rosa Bonheur, G. H. Boughton, E. Brandon, Jules Breton, A, Cabanel, A. Calame, Ch. Chaplin, J. V. Chavet, J. B. C. Corot, T. Couture, C. F. Daubigny, A. G. Decamps, P. Delaroche, A. De Neuville, Ed. Detaille, N. V. Diaz De La Pena, A. B. Durand, C. L. Elliot, M. Fortuny, E. Frère, E. Fromentin, L. Gallait, J. L. Gérôme, C. G. Gleyvre, G. A. Guillemin, J. L. Hamon, J. M. Hart, F. Heilbuth, G. E. Herring, F. P. Hiddeman, Carl H bner, E. L. G. Isabey, F. Jacovacci, C. E. Jacque, C. F. Jalabert, J. Jiminez, E. Johnston, L. Knaus, G. Koller, E. Kurzbauer, V. Lagye, C. Landelle, E. Leutze, J. L. E. Meissonier, H. Merle, J. F. Millet, C. L. Muller, T. Odier, A. Pasini, I. A. A. Pils, A. E. Pilassan, A. E. Plasson, J. W. Preyer, Rico D. Martin, A. Rotta, Th. Rousseau, S. Saint-Jean, Ary Scheffer, A. Schreyer, A. Stevens, H. Stone, Gilbert, Stuart, J. Tissot, J. B. L. Trayer, C. Troyon, B. Van Der Helst, É. Van Marcke, B. Vautier, Horace Vernet, J. G. Vibert, V. Vidal, Jose Villegas, A. J. H. Way, Otto Weber, F. Willems, K. C. Woodville, A. Yvon, E. Zamacoïs, F. Ziem.
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updated 03/22/2024 12:09:28
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
William Henry Rinehart papers, 1861-1875. see 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...
Baltimore Museum of Art
The E. Kirkbride Miller Art Research Library
George A. Lucas papers, 1825-2003 [bulk 1824-1909] MS.10 see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
John Frederick Kensett papers, 1806-1896. see details...
Georgetown University
Special Collections
Thomas F Meehan Papers, 1859 - 1920 (Bulk: 1880 - 1915) see details...
The Getty Research Institute
Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
M. Knoedler & Co. records, approximately 1848-1971 see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Photographs of the old Walters Art Gallery, 5 Mt. Vernon Place, Baltimore. see details...

see also:
Walters, Henry, 1848-1931
Lucas, George A. 1824-1909