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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | July 31, 1994
Gary Vikan has spent most of his career as a scholar of medieval art. But when he was named director of the Walters Art Gallery in June, he left behind the world of scholarship without looking back."
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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 20, 2013
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of occasional features on prominent local residents and the possessions they treasure. You can get a pretty good idea of someone's journey through life by looking at the objects with which he surrounds himself. For Gary Vikan, who stepped down this spring as the director of the Walters Art Museum , those objects include a pair of tickets to Woodstock, a piece of the gate guarding Graceland, a collection of Russian icons and a miniature replica of the Shroud of Turin.
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FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Karol V. Menzie,SUN STAFF | July 10, 1996
From Rembrandt to Rothko, Walters Art Gallery director Gary Vikan's cooking has mirrored the world of art as he moved from formal to abstract styles. "I've gone from being very bookish to being much more intuitive," he says.Vikan has traveled extensively throughout his life, and food memories are embedded in his recollections. There was the time, for instance, a decade or so ago, when he was traveling in Turkey. He had reached the town of Bursa, and settled in at a little restaurant in a tent.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
In naming Julia Marciari-Alexander as executive director on Wednesday, the Walters Art Museum board of directors entrusted one of Baltimore's most important arts institutions to a rising star — and signaled an emphasis on community engagement even more than on a long history of leading an organization. The Yale-trained Marciari-Alexander, 45, serves as the San Diego Museum of Art's head curator and starts her new post April 1. She will succeed Gary Vikan, who is retiring in June after 27 years at the Walters and who helped the museum become a national leader in rethinking the traditional role of arts institutions.
NEWS
By Nick Madigan and Nick Madigan,Sun Reporter | March 11, 2007
Five years ago, when someone suggested to Gary Vikan, the director of the Walters Art Museum, that he start a blog, he didn't know what a blog was. Not many people did. Now, inspired by the millions of people who are sounding off on the Internet, Vikan has added his voice to the mix. He thinks he's the first major museum director to do so. In his third posting on thewalters.org/blog late last month, Vikan pulled no punches. He took on his colleagues at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, Calif.
TRAVEL
April 16, 2006
Sweet sounds in any language On a visit last summer to Dresden, Germany, we stopped to listen to a quartet under an archway leading toward the Schloss. A small child seemed captivated by the music of Mozart and even danced a little jig. Gary Vikan Baltimore
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | July 30, 1997
Hackerman House, the Walters Art Gallery's museum of Asian Art, has been closed temporarily to help meet demands of city budget cuts, Walters director Gary Vikan confirmed last night.The house, a separate building attached to the gallery and originally built as a 19th-century townhouse, will be closed beginning today for up to eight weeks. It will reopen no later than Sept. 21 and perhaps sooner if a Walters fund appeal succeeds."I anticipate this is eight weeks, max," said Vikan. "I hope it will be open in a couple of weeks depending on what happens.
NEWS
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | April 13, 1994
The Walters Art Gallery's lengthy search for a new director ended yesterday when the museum hired one of its own -- Gary Vikan, who has served the past nine years as assistant director for curatorial affairs and curator of medieval art.Dr. Vikan is "uniquely qualified to lead the Walters into the 21st century," Jay M. Wilson, president of the gallery's board of directors, said in announcing the choice. "He is an internationally known scholar, . . . a skilled administrator, a gifted educator and a talented communicator."
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | April 14, 1994
Gary Vikan, the newly appointed director of the Walters Art Gallery, could reasonably be called a modern-day Renaissance man.He's a serious scholar, a person who tackles whatever he does with dedication and skill, whether that be creating catalogs on Byzantine art or writing a paper on Elvis Presley's Graceland. He's a man who on first meeting seems reticent, but is warm and even endearing to those who know him well.He possesses a wry sense of humor, plays a fair game of golf and can cook up a storm.
NEWS
April 17, 1994
The appointment of Gary Vikan as director provides continuity and maintains momentum at the Walters Art Gallery.Mr. Vikan, assistant director and medieval curator, had been helping run the museum during the interregnum since former director Robert P. Bergman went to the Cleveland Museum of Art last May. He has helped to plan the ambitious improvements that, as director, he is now assigned to achieve. Mr. Vikan knows what he is getting into.The Walters Art Gallery needs to renovate its "new" wing, which is 20 years old and not entirely suited to what it does, and reinstall much of the permanent collection.
NEWS
March 10, 2012
The average tenure of an American museum director is about six years. It's a tough job, requiring the gifts of a scholar-historian, expert business manager, public relations genius and civic booster all rolled into one, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. Yet Gary Vikan, who announced this week that he is stepping down as director of the Walters Art Museum after 18 years in the post, not only made it look easy but seemed to enjoy every minute of it. Mr. Vikan's long tenure at the Walters saw a significant expansion of the museum's collections and programs as well as its presence in the community and online.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2012
Gary Vikan, who has been a dynamic force at the helm of the Walters Art Museum for 18 years, will leave the post of director in June 2013, or when his successor is in place. "I really made the decision in November 2008, when I was 62," Vikan said, "but that's when the stock market was plummeting. So I picked 65. " The museum weathered the economic downturn successfully, thanks to Vikan's leadership, said Walters board chairman Douglas Hamilton Jr. "Gary has carried us through the economic downturn," he said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2010
A photograph snapped in 1947 shows a small blond boy in a Cub Scout uniform looking squarely into the camera. Liberal amounts of Wildroot gel have been applied to his hair, which goes up over his forehead in a pompadour — just like his idol, Elvis Presley. The young Gary Vikan is standing directly in front of a framed reproduction of Warner Sallman's iconic 1941 painting, "Head of Christ," and Jesus appears to be whispering something into the 10-year-old's right ear. The photo is very nearly a time capsule, or a message in a bottle.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | February 26, 2009
Faced with a 27 percent drop in the value of its endowment funds and expected cuts in state and local government grants, the Walters Art Museum announced yesterday a restructuring plan that includes laying off seven of its 150 employees, imposing a salary and limited hiring freeze and staff furloughs, and canceling an exhibition that was to have had the museum collaborating with the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and the Getty in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, Hackerman House, where the Walters' Asian art collection is displayed, was closed weekdays in a cost-cutting move.
NEWS
By Melissa Harris and Melissa Harris,Sun reporter | November 3, 2007
As Walters Art Museum conservator Elissa O'Loughlin pulled back the lid to one of two wooden crates left in the museum's attic for decades, Gary Vikan broke the tension. "Oh, my God, not another Monet! We have much too many of those," the museum's director said. The audience burst into laughter. Vikan was standing too far away to see the crates' contents -- volumes of well-preserved black, leather-bound photo albums and one box. O'Loughlin opened the box and removed an 80-page red leather book.
NEWS
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,SUN ARCHITECTURE CRITIC | September 27, 2007
A nationally renowned specialist in museum design, Polshek Partnership Architects of New York, has been selected to develop a master plan to guide growth and development of Baltimore's Walters Art Museum campus over the next decade. Museum director Gary Vikan said Polshek was selected over 10 candidates that sought the commission, the first comprehensive planning exercise at the Walters in 11 years. Open since the 1930s with an extensive collection assembled by William and Henry Walters, the city-owned museum began at 600 N. Charles St. and has grown into a campus that includes nine properties on three city blocks stretching along Centre Street.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | April 19, 2003
Museum officials and others alarmed over the fate of thousands of irreplaceable artworks looted from Iraq's national museum in Baghdad say the only hope for recovering the country's cultural patrimony may be by appealing to Iraqi national pride and by offering amnesty and small cash rewards to looters who return stolen objects. The idea of a no-questions-asked return policy, similar to city gun buy-back programs, was raised earlier this week by the New York-based American Council for Cultural Policy, said Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan, a member of the group.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | February 28, 2004
In response to cuts in public funding and shifting viewer habits, the Walters Art Museum will no longer be open on Tuesdays, a move that shortens its regular week from six to five days, museum administrators said. It will also change its evening hours. Beginning next week, the museum will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its evening hours will be 5:30 to 10 on the second Friday of each month. (The museum will no longer remain open in the evenings on the first Thursday of each month.
NEWS
By [LIZ ATWOOD] | September 9, 2007
GARY VIKAN, DIRECTOR of the Walters Art Museum, is a specialist in Byzantine art. He lectures on topics such as icons, early Christian pilgrimages and Elvis. But he has embraced the modern era, publishing his own blog on the museum's Web site. Every Wednesday he discusses art and cultural issues, and welcomes comments from readers. At the moment, he's preparing for a new exhibition at the museum: Deja Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces, a show that opens next month exploring the significance of artistic repetition through the art of 11 celebrated 19th- and 20th-century French painters.
NEWS
By SLOANE BROWN | April 29, 2007
IT WAS BACK TO SCHOOL for several hundred grown-ups at the Baltimore School for the Arts. More commonly known as "Expressions," the school's annual fundraising party gives its guests a chance to take a class with some of the BSA's students as their teachers. Party chairs Teri Alexander, Nathalie Beatty, Elizabeth Linehan, Mary-Ann Pinkard and Krissie Verbic welcomed the new "students" as they filed into the school. Many bolstered their confidence and energy with a stop at the bar and at the hors d'oeuvres tables - and then decided which subject they wanted to give a whirl.
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