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, November 15, 2018

More Higgins Armory Objects on Display at WAM

I’m delighted to announce the completion of our pilot “open-storage” installation of arms and armor in WAM’s new Medieval Galleries. Open storage is a way of displaying objects closely packed in a “storage-type” space. This means we can’t label the objects or present them as beautifully as in a normal gallery display, but it allows us to make a large number of objects accessible to the public.

We are ultimately working to put the full Higgins Armory collection on view, using a combination of gallery displays and open storage. With some 2000 objects in the collection, this is a huge project! The pilot installation in the Medieval Galleries will allow us to test our ideas for open storage before we implement them on a large scale. It also allows us to get more of the Higgins collection on view—at this point, we have 5 full suits of armor on display, and a total of about 100 Higgins objects.

In the meantime, WAM has received $40,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities and $250,000 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to support planning and preparation for our permanent arms and armor galleries. This money will support conservation and curatorial study of the Collection. It will also bring in interpretive and design consultants to help us map out plans for the permanent arms and armor galleries, which are currently scheduled for installation in 2023.

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Introducing Yesenia Perez

We are pleased to welcome Yesenia Perez, the new Assistant Curator of Education and Experience at WAM!  Yesenia, who started November 1, will oversee project teams for all public education events, plan and coordinate docent training and continuing education, and help create programming tied to our exhibitions.

Originally from Bethlehem, PA, Yesenia comes to us from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she completed her MA in Art and Museum Studies, focusing on Education and STEAM.  Her studies included six months in London, where she visited dozens of European museums and art galleries.  She finds the collection at WAM unique in its diversity – not just in the range of the collection itself, but the way the art, themes and even lighting change from one room to the next, creating a new and exciting experience in each gallery.  “Going from the Medieval Arms and Armor gallery to the European galleries on the second floor is like seeing two different worlds entirely, yet housed in the same museum.”

In the video below, Yesenia discusses her favorite piece of art at WAM – “Interior of the Studio of Van Dael and his Students at the Sorbonne” by Philippe Jacques van Bree (1816).  This painting shows eight female art students, a mix of wealthy women pursuing art in their leisure time and professional artists perfecting their craft.

Out of the many upcoming exhibitions and events, Yesenia is especially looking forward to her first Flora in Winter this January, saying she's impressed with both the size of the program and its long history at WAM.  But more than anything, Yesenia is excited to begin working with the community of Worcester, to meet the people who live here and find out why they love their Museum so much, and to better understand the important role WAM plays in the community.

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