My Bal­ti­more

A mu­seum di­rec­tor’s per­fect day in the city

Where Baltimore - - Contents - Ju­lia Mar­ciari-Alexan­der

This Yale-ed­u­cated ris­ing star has a rep­u­ta­tion for en­liven­ing in­sti­tu­tions. She trav­eled cross-coun­try last year, with hus­band and 10-year-olds in tow, and as­sumed the role of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Wal­ters Art Mu­seum, the first woman to hold this post since the mu­seum’s found­ing in 1934.— RC

What brought you to Bal­ti­more? I came as a re­sult of a re­cruit­ment search by the Wal­ters. When one of the great Amer­i­can art mu­se­ums calls and asks you to come, you say “Yes, please!” I wanted to be a part of this city and the scene here, be­cause both are quite re­mark­able.

First im­pres­sions of the Wal­ters? Awe and in­spi­ra­tion. There is so much to dis­cover. I could be here for years and feel as if I still haven’t scratched the sur­face of this col­lec­tion.

What about Bal­ti­more art? It’s deep and di­verse. You have ob­jects of tra­di­tion and quirky re­bel­lion, and they are ex­cel­lent at all lev­els. I know a lot of artists who are mov­ing here from New York or London, be­cause this city feels real, and Bal­ti­more’s not com­mer­cial­ized or os­si­fied.

Where do you take vis­i­tors? I try to blend ur­ban, ru­ral and quirky ex­pe­ri­ences. We go to the In­ner Har­bor to visit the Reginald F Lewis Mu­seum, Ham­p­den for ice cream at the Charmery and on the Loch Raven trail for a hike.

Fa­vorite art des­ti­na­tion? Paris. I lived there when I stud­ied and worked. I had a desk that looked over Ver­sailles. I love Paris, where you get a sense of a vi­brant city, a city that lives with its art. That’s ac­tu­ally what Bal­ti­more does. The art here is not only in the mu­se­ums.

The Wal­ters

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