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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey!

Happy Year of the Monkey! To help contribute to the wealth of monkey images online for this Lunar New Year here is the museum’s 10th-13th century Chinese sculpture, Guanyin Seated in a Grotto, depicting the Monkey King story. The Monkey King is a mischievous and highly popular character in China ever since the publication of the classic novel Journey to the West in the 1590s in which he plays the protagonist.

Based on a real pilgrimage in the early 600s by a Chinese Buddhist monk named Xuanzang, who travelled to India to find and bring back Buddhist scriptures, in Journey to the West the Monkey King accompanies Xuanzang on his quest. The top portion of this sculpture depicts the Monkey King with the monk and a horse. Below them the Buddhist deity of compassion, Guanyin, sits atop her lotus throne encircled by a dragon. Guanyin served as their guardian on the trip, often offering divine intervention.

This sculpture, one of the earliest depictions of the tale of the Monkey King made centuries before it became a popular novel, has also recently inspired new research. After viewing WAM’s Guanyin Seated in a Grotto, Dr. Ji Hao, a professor of Chinese language and literature at the College of the Holy Cross, began studying other artistic representations of the Monkey King story. We look forward to learning more about this rich piece from his findings.

Welcome in the Year of the Monkey by looking for this Monkey King-inspired piece currently on view during your next visit to WAM.

Above: Guanyin Seated in a Grotto, late Song Dynasty (960-1279), granite, greenish color, 59.7 cm (23 1/2 in.), Gift of Stephan Bourgeois, 1933.9

See more Chinese Art

- Vivian Li, Assistant Curator, Asian Art

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Calling all Emily the Strange Fans!

Rob Reger
To help kickoff WAM's Meow exhibition we are excited to announce that Friday, February 19 will be Emily the Strange Day at the Museum. The exhibit Rob Reger's Emily the Strange and her Four Bad Kitties is the first of many cat-inspired exhibits that are all part of the Meow project. While the full exhibition opens on Friday, May 20, Emily and her four kitties (Mystery, Miles, NeeChee, and Sabbath) will be taking over Helmutt's House starting February 10th.

On Emily the Strange Day on Friday, February 19, please join us for special Emily the Strange themed art activities, story time, and more. Free admission to the Museum will be granted for any visitors who come dressed as Emily… or her cats.

Click here to learn more about Meow

Click here to learn more about the artist Rob Reger and his character Emily the Strange in his interview with WAM's Director of Audience Engagement Adam Rozan.

- KATrina Stacy, Associate Curator of Education

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Calling all Homeschool Families & Groups!

Join us for our new Homeschool Wednesdays at WAM. Make the Museum part of your homeschool studies with this quarterly program designed to complement home-based learning for ages 5 and up. Through a combination of tours and Gallery/Studio workshops, we offer a variety of educational and interactive—and fun!—options depending on your interests and curriculum.

Participants will discover the Ancient World, explore the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, learn more about Early American History, or become familiar with WAM through a Museum Highlights Package. The Gallery/Studio workshops feature painting, clay pottery, portraits, illuminated letters, and aluminum tooling.

Our upcoming Homeschool Wednesdays are scheduled for March 23 and May 11. To schedule your visit, contact Jan Ewick at 508-793-4338 or janewick@worcesterart.org or Jesse Rives at 508-793-4335 or jesserives@worcesterart.org. Please reserve your spot at least three weeks in advance.

Click here to learn more about the Homeschool Wednesdays tours, Gallery/Studio Workshops, the Museum Highlights Package, and associated costs for these field trips.

We hope to see you and your homeschool group at the Museum for Homeschool Wednesdays!

- Jesse Rives, Education Coordinator

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