In the 1800s, Clipper Mill famously housed the largest machine shop in the country, Poole and Hunt Foundry and Machine Works. Machinery ranging from steam engines to locomotive parts was produced there and helped power the Industrial Revolution. Fast forward to 1995, long after it closed down, and an eight-alarm fire nearly destroyed what remained of the factory’s Assembly Building. But in the past two decades, the remaining Clipper Mill complex has been revitalized and is now home to a vibrant residential and commercial hub.
Tag: the walters
One of Baltimore’s beloved fine art museums is going medieval this Saturday.
Clear your calendar for Sunday, May 22. That’s the day that Baltimore artist Lexie Mountain will host what she hopes will be a record-breaking game of telephone at The Walters Art Museum.
Julia Marciari-Alexander, the newly christened executive director of the Walters, can’t wait for July first. It’s not that the museum’s launching some grand new exhibit on that day; instead, July 1 marks the date her husband, John Marciari, will step down as curator of the San Diego Museum of Art and call himself an official Baltimorean. This early summer, he, Marciari-Alexander, and their twins, Jack and Beatrice, nine, will all finally reside together in their house in Homeland, embarking on a busy life guaranteed to bring extreme change.
Last month we told you about The Walters Art Museum’s program to bring reproduced classic paintings to Baltimore’s main streets and outdoor spaces in November. Here’s one at Whole Foods and we can report that it is having its intended effect: everyone’s stopping to look.
Sandy’s pretty much ruined everyone’s plans for the week – let’s just put it out there. She came through, uninvited, took too many people’s power without asking, and just made a mess of everything. While we all have our fingers crossed that streets will be cleared, power will be back on and life will return to normalcy as we know it by tomorrow or Thursday, it’s quite unlikely. The Derecho left Baltimore out of commission for more than a few days this summer, and he wasn’t quite as expansive.
Before you go completely stir-crazy by the end of this week, get yourself out of the house on Thursday. The Walters is screening Othello with Laurence Olivier at 7:00pm, with a discussion to follow exploring one of the Bard’s most complex characters. So put away the Scrabble board, extinguish those candles (the mayor asked us all not to use candles, anyways), and jump headfirst into culture and outings once again.
600 N. Charles St
You’ve been in your house presumably since Sunday. And who doesn’t like Shakespeare?
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 seems that more and more libraries and museums are finally realizing how to use the power of the Internet to give people greater access to their collections. Or at least they are finally getting the money they need to make it happen.
Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum just received a $265,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 113 medieval Flemish manuscripts. No small task when those manuscripts total “45,000 pages of text with over 3,000 pages of illumination.” And remember, every manuscript is inherently one of a kind, so for non-nerds: think of each one of these manuscripts — each page, even — as essentially a previously unreleased track by whatever awesome dead musician people who don’t spend all their free time memorizing constellations and identifying fonts are listening to these days. But instead of the whole thing coming out as a prohibitively-priced boxed set, it’s made available for free to everyone with an Internet connection.
Eventually, the Walters hopes to have digitized all of its 850 medieval manuscripts. And it’s already been the recipient of two other grants from the NEH to translate their Islamic, English, German, Armenian, Dutch, Byzantine, and Ethiopian manuscripts into ones and zeros, so looks like some day we’ll get there!
You can view the manuscripts they’ve already digitized at art.thewalters.org
Not all museums are monuments to the past. In the internet age, even collections as venerable as those at the Walters Art Museum are getting an upgrade thanks to innovative use of technology, allowing museumgoers to have a whole new relationship with the art on the wall.
For the next month, visitors to the Walters can play around with Peer One, a video project organized by wi-fi artist Kari Altmann. Altmann turned to her online collective of video artists, designers, bloggers, and other digitally-minded creative types, asking them to create video responses to objects in the museum’s permanent collection. “Altmann… encouraged them to place the museum’s objects into a contemporary informational, commercial and cultural context,” the museum notes.
What this means for you is that you can download a 16-video tour of the collection on your favorite portable device. Then visit the corresponding 16 works of art, and watch the corresponding video. A pdf provides additional context about each work. Old media and new media getting friendly — this is definitely the museum of the future!
The Walters Art Museum unveiled a very timely exhibit yesterday, Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection Gift. Among the 129 Precolumbian pieces on display until May 20 is at least one Mayan calendar stela, a carved stone column, similar to the ones that famously stop counting on December 21, 2012.
To explain the meaning of the Mayan stelae (among other topics, no doubt), Colgate University Professor Tony Aveni will take part in a panel discussion at the museum on March 17.
Let me spoil it for you: Aveni’s main point is that just because one especially long cycle in the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, it doesn’t mean the world will end then. You may have a calendar on your wall that ends on December 31, but that doesn’t mean anything grim is slated for January 1. There is no prophesy that ties into the calendar’s end, and so there is no reason to think that Mayans believed anything terribly unusual was going to occur on December 22.
Now, before reading the article in The Sun, I didn’t know any of that stuff about the Mayans’ calendar system, but I already felt strongly that the world would continue after December 21. I don’t know, call it a hunch. I’ve always been very intuitive about these things.