Friday, September 26, 2014

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #9

     - With the utilization of social media and blogging sites, these Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" photos have a pretty wide reach, attracting comments and queries from locales both near and distant. Amongst the most common observations I receive from viewers are notes pointing out the aesthetic differences of the old grandiose hanging style versus sparse contemporary taste... how, to put it simply, there was much more Art hanging on the walls a century ago than there is today. These first two photo compositions show such contrasts, with the same stretches of wall space in the Lower Third Floor (Gallery 332 and 331) shown both in 1920 and at present. This current minimalist approach is not the rule, however, as is proven with the grandly compelling Salon style groupings of the [remastered] galleries.
     - The third photo compares the different views seen by visitors when approaching the Lancaster Terrace, both a decade ago and today. The first photo, taken in the winter of 2004, shows the wall face that once ran parallel with the sidewalk (steps at either end led up to the terrace). In my first job at the Worcester Art Museum, as an Education Assistant, I was one of many that helped in the creation of the colorful Community Mosaic (shown here), originally displayed at street level on Lancaster. With the construction of the new staircase in 2005, the mosaic was moved to it's current location in the Courtyard.

     - The sketch depicts the 9th Century A.D. Mayan carved limestone column situated in the 4th floor Atrium. I've always found the quasi-asymmetry of it's stylized design to be fascinating. The details are both mysterious and revealing. WAM's plentiful collection of Pre-Columbian objects, tucked away off the beaten path, are amongst my favorite pieces to draw.

3rd Floor Galleries. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

3rd Floor Galleries. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Lancaster Terrace. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Mayan Column. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins