7-13-10: Fakes and the Walters’ Real Greatness
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore has long been considered one of the great museums in America, with a collection of art that spans several centuries and includes many masterpieces.
In 1909, when Henry Walters opened his collection of more than 500 Italian paintings to the public, he thought that it included portraits by the likes of Raphael and Michelangelo. But then, as now, collecting art was a tricky business.
It turned out that much of the art Mr. Walters had purchased wasn’t actually by some of the big name painters he’d been told had created the work. A new book by the Baltimore writer Stanley Mazaroff tells the story of Henry Walters’ complicated relationship with a leading art scholar and dealer, who helped him shape his collection into a significant body of work. It’s called Henry Walters and Bernard Berenson: Collector and Connoisseur.