Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum Gets a Bunch of Money to Digitize Its American Collection

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Richard Caton Woodville’s “Politics in an Oyster House”, 1848

Wait, didn’t the Walters just get $265,000 to digitize their illuminated manuscripts? Yes, yes they did. And now they’ve got another $112,000 to scan and upload more than 600 artworks from their American collection. Plus, some of the money will go toward an exhibition of works by hella-American (just look at that those guys!) painter Richard Caton Woodville, as well as educational programs.

It’s all a part of the Walters’s 23-month-long American Visions program, which starts today and which highlights museum founder William Walters’s oft-forgotten “earliest collecting interest:” contemporary American painting.

Personally, I love art exhibits like this. You get to see a cross-section of fine art from a time and place through the lens of a collector’s particular interests. Too often in museums, I feel like I’m viewing the art equivalent of a greatest hits album — filled with “catchy” pieces, to be sure, but unable to express the structure of feeling of a particular movement or moment. Plus, I’m something of a connoisseur of 19th century American facial hair innovations.

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