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Sacred and Stolen is the memoir of an art museum director with the courage to reveal what goes on behind the scenes. It lays bare the messy part of museums: looted antiquities, crooked dealers, deluded collectors, duplicitous public officials, fakes, inside thefts, bribery and failed exhibitions. These back stories, at once shocking and comical, reveal a man with a taste for adventure, an eagerness to fan the flames of excitement and comfort with the chaos that often ensued.
This is also the story of a Minnesota kid who started out as a printer’s devil in his father’s small-town newspaper and ended up as the director the Walters, of his quest to bring the “holy” into the museum experience, and of his struggle, along the way, to reconcile his passion for acquiring and displaying sacred works of art with his suspicion that they were stolen.
Gary Vikan was Director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore from 1994 to 2013; from 1985 to 1994, he was the museum’s Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Medieval Art. Before coming to Baltimore, Vikan was Senior Associate at Harvard’s Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC.
TIME & DATE
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 7:30pm