Friday, January 2, 2015

Research: Worcester Art Museum "Then and Now" by Travis Simpkins. Update #34

     -The first photo, from 1940, shows the Renaissance Court addition of the Worcester Art Museum several years after it was completed. No major aesthetic changes have occurred to the facade in the 74 years between photographs. A trio of tall banners (obscured by the tree branches in the 2014 photo) display current exhibitions over the entrance. The old driveway was widened to form a parking lot, the landscaping has varied slightly over the years and the tree in front of the museum has grown in. In the 2000's, blue neon stars illuminated the exterior walls at night, but they were taken down a couple years ago.
     -The second "Then and Now" composition takes us inside the Renaissance Court addition. In the first photo, Jim Hodges' 2004 mural, "Don't Be Afraid", consisted of those three words written by members of the United Nations in their native languages. Currently the Wall at WAM displays "These Days of Maiuma" by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

     -The sketch depicts the 1st Century Ancient Roman portrait of "The Emperor Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)", one of several great marble busts on display in the 1st floor Roman Gallery.

     -In the early 20th Century, the Carnegie Steel Company was a major industrial force in the United States, a veritable Goliath. Carnegie's only able competition was their Pittsburgh neighbor, the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company. When WAM added the Renaissance Court building in the early 1930's, contractors used steel beams from both rival companies in it's construction. For what it's worth, the Carnegie beams seem to have endured the subsequent 80 years slightly better.

1933 Building. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Wall at WAM. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Caligula. Worcester Art Museum. by Travis Simpkins

Steel Beams. Worcester Art Museum, 1930's