Friday, October 24, 2014

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #17

     -I estimate that the first photo, from about 1940, was taken in late March or early April. Situated at the intersection of Salisbury and Tuckerman Streets, a circular driveway sweeps the Museum façade and once-reliable trolley tracks are visible in the foreground. The newly-constructed fourth floor can be seen at rear, looming above both the original 1897 edifice as well as the 1933 Renaissance Court building. In the same spot today, it is apparent that some of the curb real estate in front of WAM was lost to the widening of Salisbury Street. It is also clear how thoroughly the 1983 Hiatt Wing now envelopes that side of the building, obscuring all of the early elements as well as hiding the fourth floor addition from view.
     -The first photo in the second composition shows my favorite installation in the Contemporary "Wall at WAM" series: Alexander Ross' "Untitled" (2007). The current installation in the cycle is "These Days of Maiuma" (2013) by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

     -The sketch depicts the ancient bronze portrait of one of the daughters of Marcus Aurelius, on display in the Roman Gallery.

     -The last photo shows a small box built into one of the columns outside the Library in Salisbury Hall. For the past seven years, I have been tasked with the responsibility of providing security training for all newly-hired Control Room guards. When we reach the Library area during instruction, and the box element is spotted, most novitiates have invariably asked, "What was that used for?" I'm reasonably sure that it's an old capped off light switch. When the museum was first constructed in 1897, the building was equipped with both gas and electric fixtures. This button likely controlled the lighting in the second floor main hall during those first decades.

Salisbury/Tuckerman Streets. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Wall at WAM. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Portrait of a Roman Lady. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

early 1900's light switch, Worcester Art Museum