Monday, October 6, 2014

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #12

     -In looking at the two photos of the Lower Third Floor Galleries, taken 94 years apart, not a whole lot has changed. A partition wall was added to showcase the 17th Century "Freake Portraits", and the Art is more widely spaced on the walls, but the architectural lines and ornamentation remain the same... classic and balanced.
     -The first photo in the second composition, from 1982, depicts the Renaissance Court... musicians and an audience sit on top of a covered Antioch Hunt Mosaic. Recently, I spoke with John Reynolds, who worked as a Preparator and Exhibition Designer at WAM from 1980 to 1997. He now works at the Hood Museum of Art, and has been an insightful and helpful resource on this project. When shown the 1982 Concert photo, John replied, " The photo, I believe, is a shot of one of the Sunday afternoon concerts that used to take place. The usual set up process, before a concert, was that the last thing that I would do on a Friday afternoon was to sweep the Roman floor mosaic, then the maintenance guys would roll out a couple of layers of rubber mats and then set up the stage. It was something that was built in house, long before I started and it was extremely heavy. I think it came in either two or three parts and was painted industrial gray. The concerts were a part of a regular music series that would also include organ music, although for organ concerts the chairs would face towards the Asian gallery, as the instrument was located on that wall. "

     -The sketch depicts the recently arrived "Armor for field and tilt, of Count Franz von Teuffenbach" (1554). The lighting had not been fully installed in the gallery at that point, and the dimly lit space is reflected in the steel armor. On a rather minor historic note, this is likely the first drawing made of a Higgins object upon the collection's arrival at the Worcester Art Museum.

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

Renaissance Court. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Teuffenbach Armor. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

     Worcester Art Museu Director Matthias Waschek really liked this fun photo comparison I made of the Higgins Armory Horse both pre and post strawberry paint, so I thought I'd include it here as well.

Higgins Armory Museum Horse