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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Armor in the Galleries

Now that we’ve installed our new Medieval Galleries, featuring a selection of objects from the Higgins Armory Collection, we have started to incorporate arms and armor into other parts of the Museum as well. Come check out the helmets recently added to the [remastered] paintings gallery. The one shown below is from the early 1600s and weighs a punishing 10 ½ lbs. It’s a siege helmet, for use in fortifications rather than on the march, and it’s made to be proof against musket balls. In fact, there are two bullet marks in the rear, evidence that it saved someone’s life more than once.

Watch the galleries over the next few months as we begin to install some suits of armor to keep company with our spectacular collection of Renaissance paintings!

- Jeffrey L. Forgeng, Curator of Arms & Armor and Medieval Art

Photographs:  Kim Noonan / Worcester Art Museum

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

WAM Superlatives Wall encourages "best" thinking

This May we launched a new way to engage visitors with works in the WAM collection.  Located just inside the Higgins Education Wing on the first floor, our “Superlatives Wall” presents a different topic each month and encourages guests to vote for their favorite work of art in various categories. Guests are also encouraged to comment on WHY they voted for an artwork. Our first question was “Which event would you rather attend?” We pitted Model of a Ball Game, 1947.25; The Discovery of Honey by Bacchus, 1937.76; and These Days of Maiuma, against each other. Over 300 people voted and over 60 comments were left; the winner was Model of a Ball Game with 43% of the vote.  

Almost as soon as the images were up, our wall started filling up with votes and comments. The wall changes monthly, to make room for a new question — but don’t worry; we’re keeping track of all the feedback, hoping to learn what in our collection most intrigues and inspires our guests.

Below are some of the most thought-provoking comments so far:

The Discovery of Honey by Bacchus:

  • Diversity appears to be welcome!
  • It is a great piece of art and there are so many details! I could look at it for hours.
  • I like this painting because it reminds me of freedom.
  • Because it seems that everybody is having fun!
  • Because I am interested in Greek Mythology.
Model of a Ball Game (see above):
  • The crowd looks like they are having normal conversations and everyone seems happy and well fed.
  • Because it's an interesting subject.
  • Very intrigued by the Mayan culture and artifacts!
  • Because it interests me and I play ball.
  • Ancient relics reveal hidden truths.

 These Days of Maiuma

  • would want to know what its true meaning is.
  • Hunting theme that relates to the mosaic.
  • Because beautiful chaos is my jam!
  • I like it because it shows an accurate representation of the world today!
  • It shows what humanity looks like!
  • Because the piece is in a style that I live and everyone lives a little chaos!

The next time you are at WAM, look for the Superlatives Wall and let us know what YOU think!

Megan Blomgren Burgess
Public Events Coordinator

Friday, June 16, 2017

AP Art History Class Exhibition

Artwork created by students from the Worcester Public Schools Advanced Placement Art History (APAH) class is currently on view in the Higgins Education Wing. The 2016-2017 student exhibition featuring work by 35 students is on view through July 23, 2017. APAH is designed to provide the same benefits to secondary school students as those provided by an introductory college course in art history. In the course, students examine major forms of artistic expression from the ancient world to the present and from a variety of cultures. They learn to look and analyze works of art within their historical context, and to articulate what they see or experience in a meaningful way. One way to experience works of art is learning to frame an understanding that relates how and why works of art communicate visual meaning.

This innovative program collaboration began in 2010 between Worcester Public Schools and the Worcester Art Museum. The course is held every Tuesday and Thursday nights and allows students from Worcester’s seven high schools to engage in the authentic study of art history. Historically, approximately 70% of students who take the required APAH exam at the end of the course receive a score of three or better, enabling them to earn advanced placement in college and/or advanced college credit.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Higgins Education Wing is open Sunday–Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

Click here for more information about WAM faculty and studio art classes

- Ashley Occhino, Manager of Studio Class Programs

Image: Artwork by student Diane Khong

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