Welcome to WAM Updates

WAM Updates are short, informal posts that put the spotlight on small, but exciting, Museum-related projects, such as the addition of a new painting or sculpture to a gallery. They also serve as updates on staff, new services or programs, and other WAM news.

We hope you like reading the Updates! If you are interested in learning about something specific, or have a suggestion for a WAM Update, please update us at wamupdates@worcesterart.org

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Samurai Helmutt’s House!

Helmutt’s House is an exciting stop for the exhibition, Samurai! Families can explore samurai armor side by side with western armor, and even learn a little Japanese! On the way to Helmutt’s House, take a look at the amazing Japanese conch shell included in the Knights of the Round Table. In Helmutt’s House, check out how Helmutt looks in a samurai helmet; discover the incredible prints of the rabbit samurai, Usagi Yojimbo by contemporary artist Stan Sakai; try on armor; and read books on your own or during Art Cart Activities. Find the exciting Usagi Yojimbo comic books in Helmutt’s House and in the Museum shop!

Art Carts are scheduled on the following days and times:

1:30 - 3:00pm

11:00am - 12:30pm
12:30 - 2:00pm
2:00 - 3:30pm

11:30am - 1:00pm
1:30 - 3:00pm

Learn more about Samurai!
Learn more about Helmutt

- Marcia Lagerwey, Curator of Education

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sleuthing in Storage – Solving a 75-year-old Mystery

Abandoned property continues to be a focus of attention behind the scenes at the Worcester Art Museum. We are actively pursuing courses of action to claim every square inch of space in storage for the museum’s collection, and research for heirs to abandoned art is part of that process. In many cases, mysteries have been solved by locating direct descendants of the owners of furniture, paintings, silver, sculptures and other decorative objects not owned by WAM. One recent success story was finding the “children” of a man from Southbridge who deposited paintings at the museum 75 years ago.

Last summer, four paintings were identified in storage as being abandoned property from the same owner. The search for the heirs to this property began with the name William P. “Curbey.” Very limited information had been entered into the museum’s database, however, typed blue index cards for each painting were found in the Registrar’s office card files. These cards were formerly used to track acquisitions and loans by object locations and by their donors or lenders-- long before a computerized database was in full operation. The cards for the four paintings listed the depositor as William P. “Curbey”—with no address or contact information. There was also a curious note that they were at the museum “for expertization.” The owner never returned to retrieve the paintings, and although some research had been done in previous decades to locate the heirs, imprecise information on the index cards may have set the stage for a 75-year old head-scratching mystery.

Recent WAM Updates