"The Walters has partnered in the past with exhibitions at the British Museum and in Hamburg," said Regine Schulz, curator of ancient art and director of international curatorial relations at the Walters. "But to have a cooperative partner is a better thing. You can do exhibits together without huge fees. You can get loans [of art works] together."
Schulz, who will leave the Walters in September to become director of the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum, said that the art collections at the Baltimore and Hildesheim institutions "complement each other. We may have things in storage they would like; they may have things in storage the Walters would like," she added.
Already in the works is a major exhibit called "Secrets of the Universe: The Egyptian Book of the Faiyum" that will be seen at both places starting in 2013. The display will address "how Egyptians thought the world was created," Schulz said. "There will be works from the Walters and the Hildesheim venue, which has a huge Egyptian collection."
Schulz also noted that the German museum, with over 1 million objects (compared with 35,000 at the Walters), holds extensive collections of Asian, African, Peruvian and South Seas arts.
In a statement released Tuesday, Hildesheim Mayor Kurt Machens said he "was deeply impressed with the Walters Art Museum when I visited several years ago. [It] has an excellent international reputation as a trend-setting U.S. museum, and the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum will greatly benefit from this cooperative arrangement."
Machens and Walters director Gary Vikan signed a memorandum of cooperation Monday night in Baltimore.
Vikan said the partnership between the two museums will "give visitors the chance to see wonderful art that they would not otherwise have the chance to experience."