Walters Art Museum – Egyptian Collection

Museum Overview

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland was founded as the Walters Art Gallery in 1934. The collections of the museum were initially collected primarily by two men – William Thompson Walters and his son, Henry Walters. The two men collected approximately 22,000 works of art from around the world and these formed the base of the museum. In 2000, the Walters Art gallery changed its name to the Walters Art Museum to reflect its growth as a large public institution. The museum today houses objects spanning from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th century Europe. It holds more than 28,000 objects and includes art works from the 18th and 19th centuries, Japanese arms and armor, Islamic manuscripts, textiles and furniture, artifacts from the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, Medieval Europe, Ancient Egypt and Nubia and more. The Walters Art Museum also hosts many temporary exhibitions and runs educational programs.

Plan Your Trip

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore in the historic Mt. Vernon Cultural District. At Baltimore Hotels you can find a hotel room close to the museum. More affordable hotels can be booked via The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm and admission is free. Parking is available and visitors may enjoy taking a tour of the art collections.

Museum's Egyptian Collection

The Egyptian collection of the Walters Art Museum makes up part of the Ancient Art permanent collection. This major collection is located on the second floor of the Center Street Building and takes up a number of galleries. The entrance to the Ancient collection is through the Egyptian temple gateway which is made up of two three-thousand pound statues of Sekhmet, the lioness-headed goddess. These statues are among the most prized possessions of the museum and are the center-piece of the Egyptian collection.

In 1966, the Walters Art Museum bought four small gold pieces that belonged to a group of Egyptian jewelry. Other pieces in the Egyptian collection include sculptures, headsets, pottery, portraits, coffins and items from every day life. From simple boxes to intricate statues of kings and detailed engravings, there are plenty of artifacts and works of art in the Walters Art Museum's Egyptian collection.

Several items in the Egyptian collection relate to the Egyptian practice of mummification. These include the mummy mask of a high official, the mummy bandage of Wsir-Wer and the mummy and painted cartonnage of an unknown woman. The coffin is intricately decorated and a fascinating addition to the Egyptian collection.

As well as their permanent collections, the Walters Art Museum hosts many temporary exhibitions and also sends some of its exhibitions as traveling exhibitions to other museums. It is worthwhile to keep an eye open for these exhibitions as you may find some that compliment the Egyptian collection of the museum. Currently at the Walters Art Museum, running from November 15, 2008 to November 8, 2010 is an exhibition entitled, "Mummified." It is open from 10am to 5pm every day that the museum is open. This exhibition features approximately 20 Ancient Egyptian objects which depict mummified people, deities and animals. It describes the ancient secrets of the Walters' mummy, which is part of its permanent collection. A section of the exhibition will focus on the "mummimania" of the 17th to 20th centuries.

From March 20, 2010 to June 13, 2010, the museum will be hosting another temporary exhibition entitled, "Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum." This exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm every day that the museum is open.

The aim of the Egyptian collection is to provide visitors to the museum with a glimpse into the lives of the Ancient Egyptians and with its broad selection of objects it is successful in this regard.

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