Museum Monday: Public Property at The Walters

June 11th, 2012 by The Professor

This summer, the Walters Art Museum will present Public Property, an exhibition collectively created by the public. In 1931, the museum’s founder Henry Walters bequeathed the core collection of the Walters to the City of Baltimore “for the benefit of the public.” The Walters’ art is owned by the public, and it is the public who will determine what this exhibition will be.

From Dec. 2011–March 2012, a series of public choices were made, from deciding the exhibition title and theme, to selecting artworks. While on view June 17–Aug. 19, 2012, visitors will continue to contribute to, and change, this exhibition.

The public has selected a total of 106 artworks to be part of the exhibition, including Antoine-Louis Barye’s watercolor, Running Jaguar, and an Indian work on paper ca.1675, A Wild Boar Hunt. A selection of the 23 most admired paintings will be displayed within the exhibition. Other artworks, including manuscripts and three-dimensional objects, will be featured on a “wall of fame,” which will display images of the artworks along with labels and information about their popularity.

The will be a number of interactive things among the exhibition once it opens. The Game Show at the Walters invites visitors to join an amusing and unusual opening event, June 23, 7:30–9:30 p.m., inspired by reality television game shows of the past and present. Our game show will feature the artworks as “contestants” where the winner is determined by the audience and a small panel of surprise celebrity judges. Other programs during the summer will include classic creature feature films and a public art tour.

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