Culture Series: An Insider’s Visit to the Walters Art Museum

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This Week: An Insider’s Visit to the Walters Art Museum

Come along on a visit to the Walters Art Museum with Gary Vikan! The Walters is located in the historic Mt. Vernon Cultural District of Baltimore. It’s been a treasure to the city and region since 1934. The Museum’s collection spans more than 7,000 years and encompasses 36,000 objects. Gary Vikan, an internationally known medieval scholar, spent 28 years at the Walters – 19 of those as Director. Who better to give us an inside visit?

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Photo of Gary Vikan

Gary Vikan was Director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore from 1994 to 2013; from 1985 to 1994, he was the museum’s Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Medieval Art. Before coming to Baltimore, Vikan was Senior Associate at Harvard’s Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. A native of Minnesota, he received his B.A. from Carleton College and his Ph.D. from Princeton University; he is a graduate of the Harvard Program for Art Museum Directors and the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program.

An internationally known medieval scholar, Vikan curated a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions at the Walters, most notably, those devoted to the art of medieval Orthodoxy. Vikan has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Carleton College, Goucher College, and the Salzburg Global Seminar; in October 2014, he was Leader in Residence at the Noyce Leadership Institute. He is currently the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College.

Vikan’s newest book, “The Holy Shroud: A Brilliant Hoax in the Time of the Black Death,” is forthcoming from Pegasus Books in May 2020. Vikan’s other books include “Early Byzantine Pilgrimage Art” (2010); “Postcards from the Walters” (2012); “From the Holy Land to Graceland” (2012), and his memoir, “Sacred and Stolen: Confessions of a Museum Director” (SelectBooks, September 2016).

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