Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #1

     -The first two 100+ year old photos are looking out across the third floor landing of the Worcester Art Museum from West to East and vice versa. In both cases the photographer stood towards the middle/rear of the side galleries, using an old glass plate camera. That type of camera was a somewhat cumbersome piece of equipment that required a wide set-up radius, which makes it easier for me to narrow the search area and find the exact spot where the photo was taken. The 1908 shot of the West Gallery, which is now American Decorative Arts, still maintains some glimpses of the same perspective lines today. However, at present, the 1914 vantage point from the East Gallery (now the Donnelly Gallery) finds the viewer facing the back end of the island of walls in the middle of the room.
     -The third photo was taken 35 years ago in what is now the Rose Gallery area.

     -The 1st Century B.C. Roman Goddess in the sketch celebrates an anniversary this year, with 100 years at WAM, having entered the collection in 1914.

3rd Floor (West Gallery)- Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

3rd Floor (East Gallery)- Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

4th Floor (Rose Gallery)- Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Goddess, 1st Century B.C. Worcester Art Museum.  by Travis Simpkins

     -A close look at the above 1914 photo of the Third Floor East Gallery shows John Singer Sargent's "Lady Warwick and Her Son", a recent acquisition, purchased in 1913, honorably displayed and roped-off across the way... and an even closer look reveals a cast of Charles Y. Harvey's 1912 "Turtle Boy" sculpture, an infamous Worcester emblem, with the sea turtle and boy's leg peeking out beside the desk just outside the doorway:

CLOSE UP: Worcester Art Museum, 1914. Turtle Boy.

     Here are some sketches I did of the Turtle Boy statue atop the Burnside Fountain, from different angles, In situ on Worcester Common behind City Hall:

Burnside Fountain (Turtle Boy). by Travis Simpkins