When a benefactor donates something to an organization like a school or a museum, usually he gets something named after them. It can be a museum wing, an atrium, a library, a concert hall… But then enters John Waters, the king of quirky film trash.
Just recently, Walters, a native of Baltimore, donated 372 prints, paintings, and photographs from his personal collection to the Baltimore Museum Of Art. As is the case, in return Walters wanted the museum to name something after him. And as Open Culture posts out, with Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, New York City’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, and famed downtown performance venue Dixon Place all boasting restrooms that double as temples to philanthropy, Waters is not the first donor to be lionized in latrine form…
While Walters is known for his career that includes, books, exhibitions (photographs and sculptures), he is best known for his cult films. And here he stays with the tradition of those.
Museum director Christopher Bedford calls Waters a “man of extraordinary refinement” as well as “a local treasure.”
Curator Asma Naeem adds that Waters’ donation, in addition to being one of the largest gifts of art in recent history, is also one of the “most personal and individualized, showing the true stamp of the donor’s taste, eye, and predilections.”
Among the 125 artists represented are Mike Kelley, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, Diane Arbus, Nan Goldin, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Waters himself (the museum hosted a retrospective of his visual art two years ago).