Gary Vikan

former Director, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Gary Vikan was director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, and prior to that the museum's assistant director for Curatorial Affairs and curator of Medieval Art. Before coming to Baltimore, he was senior associate at Harvard's Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC.

An internationally known medieval scholar, he curated a number of critically-acclaimed exhibitions at the Walters, most notably, those devoted to the art of medieval Orthodoxy. During his tenure as director, Dr. Vikan led the contextual installation of the museum's collections, eliminated its general admission fee, and provided open access to all of its digital assets. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Carleton College, Goucher College, and was Leader in Residence at the Noyce Leadership Institute. He had a weekly radio program on Baltimore's NPR affiliate called "Postcards from the Walters."

Dr. Vikan has served on numerous boards internationally and in the Baltimore region. He currently serves on the Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts of the Salzburg Global Seminar, on the Board of Advisors of the Masters in the Liberal Arts program at Johns Hopkins University, on the founding board of the Future Symphony Institute in Baltimore, and on the Committee for Cultural Policy in New York City. He is a councilor of the Maryland State Arts Council. He has been an advisor to the Getty Leadership Institute and Princeton University's Department of Art and Archaeology, was appointed by President Clinton to his Cultural Property Advisory Committee, and was knighted by the French Minister of Culture in the Order of Arts and Letters. Dr. Vikan stepped down from the Walters directorship to write, lecture, and teach; to provide consulting services as Vikan Consulting LLC to cultural non-profits, collectors, and dealers; and to pursue projects at the intersection of the arts and sciences. In the fall of 2014, he co-organized an exhibition on "Beauty and the Brain" at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. He lectures extensively on topics as varied as Byzantine art, Elvis Presley, the Shroud of Turin, looted art and cultural property policy, neuroaesthetics, and art forgeries. He does readings from his forthcoming memoirs as well.

Dr. Vikan holds a B.A. from Carleton College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a graduate of the Harvard Program for Art Museum Directors and the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program.


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