BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Big things are happening downtown. For the first time in years, Baltimore is getting a glimpse into the lives of the men behind the Walters Art Museum.

Jessica Kartalija has more on what visitors are saying.

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Those who have seen the new display call it incredible.

Inside the Walters Art Museum, there’s something special happening.

“We’re just excited to show it off in a new way,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Walters Art Museum.

It’s the first installation in the Walters collection that has changed in about a decade. “From Rye to Raphael” celebrates the museum’s 80th anniversary, with a look at the lives and legacy of William and Henry Walters.

“Show today how these men built this amazing collection for the city of Baltimore and to shine a little light on who they were through their great objects,” Marciari-Alexander said.

Three-hundred of the Walters’ favorite things are being displayed through the seven galleries. Many have never been seen before.

“People are very excited and intrigued to find out about the name the Walters and what it means, the two men that stand behind the museum,” said Jo Briggs.

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Briggs is the curator of the museum.

“We often get asked how the art came to Baltimore, how such beautiful things ended up in people’s hometown, and so this is an exhibition which is going to explain how that happened,” Briggs said.

“Who they were, how they lived. And you will just feel part of them as if you knew them yourselves,” visitor Eileen Hotz said.

Those visiting the museum call the exhibit fascinating.

“It just took my breath away. It is beautifully set, it was beautifully arranged. But more than that, you begin to see the Walters, the two men, the father and the son as real people who lived real lives who collected just for their own love and interest and then passed it on to us,” Hotz said.

The Walters were known for trying to one-up their friends, like J.P. Morgan, by purchasing beautiful works of art.

The Walters is one of the free museums in the U.S. that houses some incredible works of art, including two faberge eggs out of the 50 that exist in the world.

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