East meets West at The Walters. The museum was established in 1934, with a gift from prominent art collector Henry Walters as its initial collection. On one hand, its collection spans nearly the entire history of Western art. Its spacious galleries are home to Greek and Roman statuary, Baroque carvings and a large collection of Renaissance paintings. On the other hand, its elegant Hackerman House wing holds one of the largest collections of traditional Asian art in the United States.
'Visionary Art' is a term used to describe art that is created by people who use ordinary media to express their own intensely personal ideas about life. This museum has assembled a wonderful collection of this very Visionary art. Since Visionary artists generally lack formal training, and work outside of established art traditions, their works are as bold, innovative and inspirational as the visions that spawned them. Children under six years of age are free.
The soul of this museum is its spacious wing dedicated to Modern Art masters like Rothko, de Kooning, Pollock and their contemporaries. The museum has the second largest private collection of Andy Warhol's works. It also features Oceanic and American Indian art, a sizable Old Masters collection and a beautiful sculpture garden. The BMA is also home to the Cone collection, which is a treasury of Early Modern masterpieces.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was once one of the most important freight and passenger lines in the country. The museum, located in a converted switching yard west of downtown, was the final destination for dozens of the steam locomotives and diesel engines that traveled along that railroad. Visitors are welcome to climb aboard and inspect the giant machines, many of which are kept in a restored house that also holds a wealth of historical displays and railroad memorabilia.
Commissioned in 1855, the USS Constellation was the last all-sail ship built by the United States Navy. Today, the historic vessel lies at anchor in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where visitors can climb aboard and learn about the ship's history, including its mission to disrupt the slave trade and its latter role in delivering famine relief supplies to Ireland.
This observation area, on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, offers panoramic views of the Baltimore Harbor. There is also a museum that displays artifacts from Baltimore's past and a gift shop featuring the famous Maryland crab. Although school groups and tours are invited to schedule an appointment to experience the Top of the World Observation Level, the space may not be reserved for private functions.
Built in 1814 by Charles Wilson Peale, one of the first American painters to achieve a place of distinction in the fine arts, the Peale Museum features a collection of 40 Peale family portraits and houses several natural history displays. Peale's collection of specimens gave scientists and visitors the opportunity to study animals and plants outside their natural environment. This museum was the first to display the complete skeleton of a mastodon. It is still standing today and the building was registered as a National Historical Landmark in 1965.
This historic home was labeled as a historic site in 1973. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the original owner of the home, was the first American-born woman to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She founded the first order of nuns in the United States in the 19th century and was also responsible for founding one of the nation's first parochial schools in Baltimore. The house was named a historical site after nine years of renovations starting in 1963. Furniture and artifacts from the 19th century are still displayed in the home, which is open to the public on weekends and by appointment.
Port Discovery offers interactive fun for the whole family. The young and young at heart will enjoy the Dream Lab and the Exploration Center, where visitors make their dreams come true and learn how to make their own art and jewelry. Children are particularly amused by Port Discovery's three-story treehouse, where they are encouraged to climb, crawl, swing and slide. The museum is also a great place for your child's birthday party. See their website for further details. The museum will have special winter hours and limited weekend hours in September due to exhibit maintenance.