Portrait of Mary Sophia Walker

1895Anna Elizabeth KlumpleAmerican, 1856-1942oil on canvas

Bequest of Miss Mary Sophia Walker


In 1866 Mary Sophia Walker (1839–1904) and her younger sister Harriet Sarah Walker, at left, joined their bachelor uncle Theophilus Walker as residents of Gore Place, his estate built in 1806 in Waltham, Massachusetts. In the neoclassical brick villa, they were immersed in its symmetrical proportions, hemispherical spaces, and the quality of its light, derived from architectural principals of Roman buildings. Many of these classical elements would inspire the Walker Art Building’s design and ornamental details.  

—Laura Fecych Sprague

Mary Sophia Walker and Harriet Sarah Walker

Donors of the Walker Art Building as well as a significant collection of art and antiquities, Mary Sophia Walker (1839–1904) and Harriet Sarah Walker (1844–1898) were among the most significant benefactors in the development of the art collection at Bowdoin.