The Walters Art Museum has been granted $111,615 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support a nearly two-year project called "American Visions: Engaging the Community with American Art."
"In the minds of the public, the Walters is a place known more for ancient, medieval, Renaissance and baroque work," said Joy Heyrman, development director at the Walters, "but the founder, William Walters, cut his teeth as a collector on American art. There has not been a bright beam of focus put on our American collection before."
The grant will enable the museum to digitize more than 600 American artworks and put them online, where they can be accessed for free, along with the thousands of images already on the Walters website.
"It is wonderful to think about all our American art being available around the globe online," Heyrman said.
Funding from the grant will also support an exhibition Heyrman is curating, "New Eyes on America: The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville," which will be run March 10 to June 2, 2013.
The grant will make possible a catalog of works by the mid-19th century, Baltimore-born painter, along with programs that seek to "engage audiences with themes of American life that Woodville addressed and continue to have relevance today."
There will also be a companion exhibit involving area high school students and interactive material on the Walters' website related to Woodville, "a short-lived, but influential painter who became a beloved figure," Heyrman said.
Other artists, among them Alfred Jacob Miller, Frederic Edwin Church and Asher B. Durand, and various other activities are being planned as part of the "American Visions" project through June 30, 2014.