The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Walters Art Museum have announced a partnership to foster collaboration between the two institutions that leaders hope will interest a new generation in museum careers and art study.
The partnership is expected to focus on several areas, including internship and educational opportunities for students at the Baltimore museum, as well as collaboration between college faculty and museum staff on topics related to the museum’s collections and programs.
“It’s a really great way for two important institutions to come together to strengthen the community,” said Greg Simmons, vice president for institutional advancement at UMBC.
The agreement, established in a memorandum of understanding, has no expiration and no money was exchanged.
Julia Marciari-Alexander, the museum’s director, said the agreement was two years in the making. It defines areas of common interest and areas of potential collaboration, such as developing a pipeline for under-served undergraduate and graduate students of color to serve as interns or fellows at the Walters, hosting and co-sponsoring exhibitions and conducting joint research activities.
The university and the museum have partnered on a variety of projects in the past. A relationship between the museum and the school’s ancient studies department in which students have access to the museum’s collection of materials goes back more than 20 years, said Scott Casper, dean of the university’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
More recently, the two groups have teamed up with Johns Hopkins University for Baltimore SCIART, a summer program which mentors undergraduates in research associated with art conservation. The program, funded by a three-year, $617,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is in its second year.
Representatives from both groups said it was important to create a formal, long-term agreement.