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The Worcester Art Museum Will Reopen To The Public On October 7th

Press Release

The Worcester Art Museum, which has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13th, announced today that it will reopen to the public on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.  In addition to a series of special exhibitions and presentations, the Museum also announced that several free virtual programs, including Zip Zoom Tours, Arms and Armor Presentations, a Fall Community Day, and Master Series Third Thursday Art Talk, will be held throughout the fall. Dates, details, and links to participate will be posted on worcesterart.org. In addition, the Museum is offering a variety of online studio art and art history classes for adults and youth. Class and registration information is available at portal.worcesterart.org/classes.

The Museum will be open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 – 4 p.m., Thursdays – Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and third Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Museum also will be open to the public on Columbus Day, Monday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“We are very grateful to our members, sponsors, donors, and foundations—and our generous Worcester community—for supporting us during our closure,” said Matthias Waschek, the Museum’s Jean and Myles McDonough Director. “While visiting this fall and winter will look and feel different in order to keep everyone safe, the Museum’s phenomenal collection of art and its power to heal and comfort, will be here for all to enjoy. We have been waiting for this day for nearly six months and can’t wait to see our community here again!”

To ensure a safe, enjoyable experience, the Museum is implementing a number of safety protocols following state and local guidelines, and asks that all visitors adhere to these policies as they plan their visit. 

  • Entry to the Museum will be timed, with all members and visitors required to reserve or purchase tickets in advance. Tickets will be made available for specific entry times between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Tickets will be available online after September 21st.
  • The maximum group size is 5 visitors.
  • As mandated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all Museum staff and visitors (age five and older) are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering for the duration of their time in the Museum.
  • While inside the Museum, visitors must observe six feet of physical distance between themselves and others outside their party, including Museum employees.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout many areas of the Museum, and all public areas will have enhanced cleaning schedules.
  • All visitors to the Museum must enter and exit through the Salisbury Street Entrance, which is fully accessible. Please note that no more than 5 people may enter the Museum at the same time.

For full information on new safety policies, how to plan a visit, and to purchase tickets, all WAM visitors are asked to visit worcesterart.org.  Timed tickets will be available for purchase after September 21st.

Fall Exhibitions and Programs

The following exhibitions and special loans will be on view when WAM reopens on October 7th:

Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere
Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere provides a revolutionary perspective on the artistic production of this important American patriot. Organized by the American Antiquarian Society and drawing on its unparalleled collection of Paul Revere materials, as well as major artworks and objects from other collections, the exhibition shows the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of this early American artisan and his impact on the social, economic, and political life of the United States. The exhibition will run through November 7, 2020. 

Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand
Recent work by Susan Swinand, winner of the Sally R. Bishop Best in Show Prize at the 2019 ArtsWorcester Biennial, is presented in this solo exhibition. A longtime faculty member in the Worcester Art Museum's studio program, Swinand's work has been shown widely throughout central New England for many years. Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand is organized in partnership with ArtsWorcester.

Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Postman Roulin, 1888
On loan from the Detroit Institute of Arts, van Gogh’s iconic Portrait of Postman Roulin, is hung next to WAM’s The Brooding Woman (Te Faaturuma) by Paul Gauguin. The period when van Gogh created portraits of the Roulin family overlaps with Gauguin’s notoriously tumultuous nine-week stay with him in Arles, France. A few years later Gauguin left Europe for Tahiti where he painted Brooding Woman in 1891. This pairing allows viewers to explore the impact these titans of Post-Impressionism had on each other.

Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso
As a result of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition, Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso, will now be presented in virtual format, beginning in late November. The multi-media virtual exhibition will feature 14 historic and contemporary kimonos from the collection of Chiso, the 465-year old Kyoto-based kimono house. The exhibition will highlight in exquisite detail Chiso’s profound championing of the rigorous artistic traditions of Japanese kimono-making, while highlighting the company’s gift for innovation, beauty, and versatility. 

The WAM-commissioned Worcester Wedding Kimono, originally planned to be shown in Kimono Couture, will be featured in the rescheduled exhibition, The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design, opening on February 6, 2020.  The first ever kimono commissioned as an artwork for an art museum, the Worcester Wedding Kimono was inspired by the New England foliage and Worcester’s famed seven hills. Designed by Chiso’s Senior Designer Mr. Imai Atsuhiro, it reveals in stunning detail Chiso’s continuing commitment and aspiration to Japanese beauty and the firm's dedication to innovation, design, and creativity--in the present and for the future.

Additional information about the Museum’s schedule of public programs and classes throughout the fall can be found on the website at worcesterart.org.

About the Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum creates transformative programs and exhibitions, drawing on its exceptional collection of art. Dating from 3,000 BCE to the present, these works provide the foundation for a focus on audience engagement, connecting visitors of all ages and abilities with inspiring art and demonstrating its enduring relevance to daily life. Creative initiatives—including pioneering collaborative programs with local schools, fresh approaches to exhibition design and in-gallery teaching, and a long history of studio class instruction—offer opportunities for diverse audiences to experience art and learn both from and with artists.

Since its founding in 1896, the Worcester Art Museum has assembled a collection of 38,000 objects: from the ancient Near East and Asia, to European and American paintings and sculptures, and continuing with works by contemporary artists from around the world. WAM has a history of making large scale acquisitions, such as its Medieval Chapter House, the Worcester Hunt Mosaic, its 15th-century Spanish ceiling, and the Flemish Last Judgment tapestry. In 2013, the Museum acquired the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, comprising two thousand arms and armor objects. It continues to commission and present new works, such as 2017’s installation of the immersive Reusable Universes sculptural series and Organic Concept environment by Shih Chieh Huang.  For more information about the Worcester Art Museum, visit worcesterart.org.

The Worcester Art Museum, located at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester, MA, is open to the public Wednesday from 12 to 4 p.m.; Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Museum is open for Members only on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children 4-17, $14 for seniors 65+ and for college students with ID. Admission is free for Museum Members and children under age four. On the first Sunday of each month, admission is free for everyone. Museum parking is free. All visitors are asked to enter the Museum through the Salisbury Street entrance.  For more information, visit worcesterart.org.

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