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.
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.
Maryland Science Center at Inner Harbor features interactive exhibits that focus on physics, marine biology and astronomy. The sprawling center includes a planetarium as well as an observatory, adding to its already impressive facilities. Of more local interest is the Chesapeake Bay estuary exhibit, which features several tanks of live creatures. Packages that include tickets to the IMAX theater are available.
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.
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.
The historic vessels and landmarks of this museum bring to life the history of American naval power. The US Coast Guard Cutter Taney (surviving warship in Pearl Harbor), USS Torsk (fired last two torpedoes in World War II), the lightship Chesapeake (served as floating lighthouse for 40 years) and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse (helped sailors navigate Chesapeake Bay for more than 100 years) all played a vital and heroic role in US military war and peacekeeping. Special student programs are also available at Historic Ships in Baltimore.
In 1840, Baltimore became home to the world's first college of dentistry. Today, this museum offers a fascinating and fun-filled look at the history of dental medicine. Highlights at the National Museum of Dentistry include historical dental tools, a giant mouth-shaped juke-box and a set of George Washington's dentures, which, by the way, were not wooden! For those interested in medicine it's a pleasant, informative diversion.