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.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

A Passion for Wood

Recently Paula Artal-Isbrand, WAM’s Objects Conservator, and I welcomed to the museum two leading wood researchers, Dr. Itoh Takao (Kyoto) and Dr. Mechtild Mertz (Paris). They are conducting a comprehensive research project to identify the type of woods used for as many Chinese religious wooden sculptures as they can test. They have already tested some sculptures in Chinese and European collections as well as the ones at the Met in New York. This time on their trip to the U.S. they came to test the ones at the MFA, Harvard, Isabella Stewart Gardner, RISD, Cleveland, Princeton, Yale, and Brooklyn as well as ours at Worcester. A very intense and focused research project! We look forward to learning more about our Chinese wooden sculptures from Dr. Itoh and Dr. Mertz and were honored that WAM was able to contribute to their important study.

See more Chinese Art in our Collection Highlights

-Vivian Li, Assistant Curator of Asian Art

Image 1: Dr. Itoh and Abby Hykin, Objects Conservator at the MFA accompanying him, studying our Head of Guanyin, Yuan Dynasty, 1260–1368, wood, polychrome and gold leaf, Museum Purchase, 1932.15

Image 2: Paula (left) observing Dr. Itoh and Dr. Mertz working on our Standing Bodhisattva, Chinese, Song Dynasty, 1100–1200, carved wood, polychromed, Museum Purchase, 1954.165

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