Thursday, November 13, 2014

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #22

     -The first photo, from about 1900, was taken just a few years after the Worcester Art Museum first opened it's doors. Note the light fixtures, which appear to be rigged in hybrid fashion: gaslights on top, electric bulbs underneath. This same room today, now the lower level of the Museum Library, has a much more utilitarian office aesthetic. It is far from reminiscent of the old view, but the overall dimensions and the placement of certain doors and window openings remains the same.
     -The second "Then and Now" composition contrasts European Gallery 207 before and after the most recent renovation of the space. "The Shipwreck" maintains the same position on the far wall of the adjoining gallery in both views, and in the 2014 photo, Houdon's elegant marble bust of his daughter is seen in situ.

     -The sketch depicts the aforementioned 1791 marble bust of young "Claudine Houdon", sculpted by her father, Jean-Antoine Houdon.

     -In the 1900 photo below, a sturdy table and chairs used by the Museum trustees can be seen at center. Today, over 100 years later, the same table and chairs are still in use one floor above in the Library reading area. Until recently, the table had long been placed in the European galleries (with a different set of spindle-back chairs). These original chairs were reupholstered a few years ago, and the set was reunited.

Lower Library. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

European Galleries. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Claudine Houdon. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Trustee's Table. Worcester Art Museum