I had a few hours in Baltimore on Thursday June 16, so I went up to the Mt. Vernon District and looked around. While I was there I visited the Walters. I like their tag line: experience 55 centuries of art. I can’t even conceive of 55 centuries. How wonderful it is that people have been making art for 55 centuries!
The Walters is in an interesting space. It is a blend of old and new. The old really appeals to me, but I also liked the new staircase that they have built recently (I understand). The sculpture courtyard, on the first floor, was modeled after an Italian palazzo. It was very light and airy and I enjoyed being in there. I would have liked to have sat there for awhile with some cappucino and written in my journal. Alas, it was not to be. An activity for another day. There were two elderly people sitting and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I will take their enjoyment as my own.
Hands down, my favorite piece was in the Egypt gallery. It was a statute of Isis sitting with Horus on her lap. It was called Isis Nursing Horus. First, I liked the subject matter. It was very feminine, but also showed what a strong woman Isis was. She was a goddess in her own right as well as being the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus, two other strong gods. Despite the fact that she was a goddess, she was also a mother, which, on some level, I find very profound. In terms of the actual piece, I like the simple lines, sort of Bufano-esque. There are other pieces that I saw while surfing which are much more detailed and painted. This version is my preference. It looks like I could buy a copy of this statue at The Virtual Khan el Khalili. I’ll have to consider it once the construction is finished.
I also liked a painting near the Impressionist Gallery called The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer by Jean-Leon Gerome. While I wasn’t thrilled with the subject matter, (Christians praying right before they were going to be killed for sport at the Circus) the thing I liked about it was the detail. The way the lion was painted, the beard of the man saying the prayer, the stone on the structure. The lion looked like it could have turned it’s head and roared. I was also quite taken with the pad on the lion’s paws. You can’t really see the paw and the pad very well in the ‘Net image, but it is amazing. I guess this is a good reason not to rely completely on the web for everything. We still need to go to art museums.
Another piece I loved was a sculpture of a little girl. It was so realistic that it was nearly impossible for me not to touch it. It was called First Disappointment by Erastus Dow Palmer. This piece is not available in image format on the web, nor was there a postcard of the piece. What a shame.
I really think that museums should make more of their works available either in postcard or image format. I think it would allow more access to their collections. I understand the concept of inventory, but inventory vs marketing…. Frankly, I just want access…
I only had a few minutes to look at the Treasury, which had all of the china, crystal and silver. It was one spot that I wish I had spent more time in, but I didn’t see that it was available until I wandered past it. I love china, crystal and silver. I spent a few minutes looking at a chocolate pot. I know it is a silly piece of dishware, but I love the way the handle is perpendicular to the spout.