Friday, December 12, 2014

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #29

     -Up until the late 1990's, for roughly 100 years, the west gallery on the second floor was used as an auditorium space. The first photo, from 1980, shows the last set-up the room had. It looked like this, wood-paneled with theater seating, for nearly three decades. I have seen old posters advertising an Alfred Hitchcock Film Festival, lectures and performances that took place in this auditorium. It held a diverse array of events. The projection room (openings seen on the back wall) is still there, but is decommissioned. The space was renovated as part of the WAM Centennial project, and serves as the Contemporary Gallery today.
     -The second "Then and Now" composition shows a before and after of Studio 201 in the Higgins Education Wing, renovated for it's current use as the Museum Conference Room. Although Studio 100 (downstairs) had been used as a meeting space for a number of years, WAM had not really had a good lecture hall since sacrificing the old auditorium for gallery space in the 1990's. This construction project, undergone in 2011, provided WAM with a much needed arena to develop museum-related programs.

     -The sketch depicts the circa 10th-11th Century Indian sandstone sculpture of a "Standing Vishnu".

     -Evidence of the projection room from the old Museum Auditorium can still be seen, both outside on Lancaster Street as well as inside the Contemporary Gallery. The booth, plunked on the facade of the original 1897 building, now contains ductwork and various building systems equipment. In the Contemporary Gallery, the door and window to the projection room can still be seen as outlines on the wall.

Auditorium. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Conference Room. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Standing Vishnu. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Projection Room. Worcester Art Museum