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

Friday, October 16, 2020

Have 30 Minutes? See Some Cool Art via a Zip Zoom Tour!

Zip Tours are a popular offering from our WAM docents. They provide a quick-tour option where visitors learn about just a few works of art within a 30-minute period. Many visitors appreciate a shorter tour that allows them to see works they know in a new way, or to see artworks they have not viewed before. 

A fun part of our tours is the discussion that takes place between the docent and visitors and between the visitors themselves. Since the Museum was closed for several months, due to the pandemic, our docents and visitors missed these art discussions. We created a solution: FREE virtual Zip Zoom Tours!

Our first program, "John Singer Sargent's Portraits" launched live via Zoom on Wednesday, October 7.  Docent Susan Gately shared a brief background of Sargent and provided details of his stays in Worcester at the Worcester Club. During a part of the conversation, viewers saw our large Sargent portrait, Lady Warwick and Her Son, paired with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Sargent portrait of Worcester woman, Mrs. Edward L. Davis and Her Son, Livingston Davis

Left: John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Mrs. Edward L. Davis and Her Son,
Livingston Davis
, 1890, oil on canvas, Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
Frances and Armand Hammer Purchase Fund, M.69.18 
Right: John Singer Sargent, Lady Warwick and Her Son, 1905, oil on canvas,
Museum Purchase, 1913.69

While looking at these portraits, viewers noted the differences between Sargent’s clients in Europe and America. One participant commented that she felt like Mrs. Davis was a woman who looked like she would “get down in the mud” to play with her son. Viewers sensed that Davis would be an interesting woman to converse with about her life and Worcester in the late 19th century. The textures and details of the women’s attire were also of interest to the virtual audience.

Another slide compared WAM’s Sargent 1890 portraits of Worcester women Lizzie B. Dewey in the red dress and Mrs. Alexander H. Bullock in the black outfit. The 30-minute discussion was rich with comments on the two women’s vastly different styles and depictions.

As these presentations take place on alternating Wednesdays, our next Zip Zoom will be held Wednesday, October 21 at 12:30pm. 

“Inspiration from Laocoön,” will explore how artists continue to be inspired by this famous Hellenistic sculpture. WAM docent Cathryn Oles will reflect on Nancy Graves’s 1988 sculpture, also titled Laocoön. She will reveal elements of the innovative stainless steel, bronze, and black enamel work that are reminiscent of the original sculpture. Here's an opportunity to learn about more works inspired by Laocoön and to share your thoughts on the artworks presented in this Zip Zoom Tour.

Register in advance for the October 21 virtual tour here. After enrolling, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zip Zoom discussion.

Select a Zip Zoom Tour that matches your interests by perusing our Fall 2020 schedule below and then register here. All virtual tours begin at 12:30pm.

November 4: WAM docent Brad Barker examines Paul Revere’s print of the Boston Massacre.

Paul Revere, The Bloody Massacre Perpetuated in King-Street Boston
on March 5th 1770,
 Boston, 1770, engraving with hand coloring,
gift of Nathaniel Paine. Courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society

November 18: Explore Roman Hairstyles in the Museum’s Collection with WAM docent Mark Mancevice.

Roman, Bust of Venus, first century BCE,
white marble, Museum Purchase, 1914.57

December 2: WAM docent Deb Wallace delves into James McNeill Whistler’s elegant Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket, a portrait of his mistress, Maud Franklin. 

James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903), 
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (1877),
oil on canvas, Museum Purchase, 1910.5

December 16: The Etruscan Cinerary Urn up close with WAM docent Barbara Eaton.

Etruscan, Cinerary Urn, 160–140 BCE,
 terracotta with traces of polychrome,
Museum Purchase, 1926.19

December 30:  Explore American abstract expressionism with WAM docent Peter Stultz. Learn more about painter Joan Mitchell’s Blue Tree (about 1964), a member of the American abstract expressionist movement.

Joan Mitchell, Blue Tree, about 1964, oil on canvas.
 Museum purchase, 1965.392

A virtual Zip Zoom Tour is an ideal way to learn more about WAM’s extensive art collection from the comfort of your home. Find additional information on these upcoming Zoom tours here.

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Zip Zoom!

—By Aileen Novick, WAM Manager of Public and Education Programs 

October 16, 2020

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