By Laura Fecych Sprague
Consulting Curator of Decorative Arts, Bowdoin College Museum of Art
"The Walker Sisters and Collecting in Victorian Boston" celebrates the renovation and expansion of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art's Walker Art Building by honoring the vision and patronage of the building's original benefactors. Mary Sophia Walker (1839-1904) and Harriet Sarah Walker (1844-1898) commissioned the Walker Art Building in memory of their uncle, Theophilus Wheeler Walker (1813-1890). The Walker sisters commissioned one of America's finest architects, Charles Follen McKim of the New York firm McKin, Mead, and White, for the design of a building "entirely devoted to objects of art." It is the Walker Art Building and their Victorian collection that best illuminate the sisters' extraordinary vision for Bowdoin's remarkable art collection.