Arts & Museums
This wonderful downtown gallery offers classic pieces of art, including antique prints and vintage posters. You'll find something for every budget at the Flinner Gallery, from inexpensive small period maps and old etchings to more costly antique posters and watercolors. The gallery will even frame your purchase for a minimal fee. From time to time, the gallery will also host exhibits of artists' works or display prints depicting a particular time period.
The works of H.L. Mencken, the sage of Baltimore and Edgar Allan Poe, another writer often associated with the city, can be explored at this library. In fact, two rooms are devoted to their writings and their lives. One of the largest libraries in the county, the Enoch Pratt also serves as a State Library Resource Center, which provides all Maryland libraries with access to state and federal government documents and other materials. The library has an impressive collection of books about Baltimore, Maryland and the region.
East meets West at The Walters. On one hand, its collection spans nearly the entire history of Western art. Its spacious galleries are home to Greek and Roman statuary, Baroque carvings and a large collection of Renaissance paintings. On the other hand, its elegant Hackerman House wing holds one of the largest collections of traditional Asian art in the United States.
The Peabody Institute was the first conservatory in the United States. It was founded in 1857 by philanthropist George Peabody and has been part of the Johns Hopkins University since 1977. The institute boasts four concert halls and the Peabody Library and is home to the Peabody Conservatory, John Steven Limited which offers private musical lessons and the Peabody Preparatory, a non-degree program that offers classes for people of all ages. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento and vocalist/pianist Tori Amos attended the institute. Students, faculty and other performers often stage free public concerts.
Located on Mount Vernon Square, this small, but well-stocked museum offers visitors a lesson in the history of Baltimore and the region. Spanning the colonial period to the present, it features an extensive collection of early American portraits, quilts, furniture, ceramics and toys. Other exhibits highlight the Chesapeake Bay's maritime industry, Baltimore's role as a port, and Maryland's role in the American Civil War.
A nice little Gallery tucked away in the Inner Harbor, the Watermark Gallery exhibits local artists who are hand picked for shows. On some nights the gallery hosts readings by local authors as well. The artwork is all affordable priced, with the added advantage of knowing that your money is going to support the work of Baltimore's artists.
This historic home was labeled as a historic site in 1973. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the original owner of the home, was the first American-born woman to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She founded the first order of nuns in the United States in the 19th century and was also responsible for founding one of the nation's first parochial schools in Baltimore. The house was named a historical site after nine years of renovations starting in 1963. Furniture and artifacts from the 19th century are still displayed in the home, which is open to the public on weekends and by appointment.
This center had humble beginnings as the Model Cities Art Program. It was renamed in 1984 when James Hubert "Eubie" Blake, the famous ragtime pianist, left his archives to the city. Today, through photos and memorabilia, the museum offers visitors a glimpse of Baltimore's jazz legends—including Blake, Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday. In addition to the exhibit space, the center also arranges live jazz performances throughout the city and organizes lessons for students.
This thirty-eight year old collection dating from 1800 to 1950 features over forty antique dolls houses, kitchens, shops, theaters and castles. The collection also features an Apothecary Shop with antique toiletry and pharmaceutical items. Age old candy and cigar boxes and bottles are also on display. Something that makes this collection even more unique is that all these pieces of antique toys are hand-crafted. This place is a delight for children and adults alike.
Port Discovery offers interactive fun for the whole family. The young and young at heart will enjoy the Dream Lab and the Exploration Center, where visitors make their dreams come true and learn how to make their own art and jewelry. Children are particularly amused by Port Discovery's three-story treehouse, where they are encouraged to climb, crawl, swing and slide. The museum is also a great place for your child's birthday party. See their website for further details. The museum will have special winter hours and limited weekend hours in September due to exhibit maintenance.
This nonprofit artists' organization was established to stimulate creativity and enhance the visibility of regional artists. The center offers artist members the opportunity to showcase (and sell)their work and network with others. It also hosts a number of popular events, including live jazz performances and an art showcase. This is a great place to buy artwork at bargain prices and meet the creative talent who crafted each piece. Visitors may also commission work by local artists.