Walters, William Thompson

Walters, William Thompson

(1820–94) businessman, art collector; born in Liverpool, Pa. He studied as a civil and mining engineer in Philadelphia, and worked at iron furnaces. He settled in Baltimore (1841) and ran a produce trading company. By 1883 he was involved in the coordination of railroads ranging from Washington, D.C., south to Florida and west to St. Louis, a project carried on by his son, Henry Walters. During a stay in Paris (1861–65), he collected paintings by such artists as Corot and Millais, and later added two galleries to his home to house his collection, now part of Baltimore's Walters Art Gallery. He was also interested in breeding stock animals and is credited with introducing the Percheron horse to America.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.