I just went to Boston to go to the museums and had dinner with a friend. While I love the museums in Boston, for the research I was doing, it was not particularly productive. But it is always good to see great art, which there is plenty of between the Museum of Fine Arts, the Gardner Museum, and Harvard's Sackler Art Galleries. As I was about to leave Boston I thought, why don't I visit Worcester, where I have never been, to visit its renowned museum. A quick map search showed me how to get there, and after a quick visit to Harvard, off I went to Worcester. I was rewarded by seeing some great things, the Worcester Art Museum is well worth a visit. It is not small, but not large, sort of a good size, and has some very distinguished things. American Paintings are not my thing, but they do have a very choice collection of them. This post is my picking just a few things that struck me, this is hardly meant to be comprehensive.
Another view of the courtyard, showing the justly famous mosaic from Antioch, the largest ancient Roman mosaic in this country. Dating the the Third Century A.D., it depicts animals threes, hunting, with a foliate border. On the floor of the central courtyard, it is under an enormous mural by a contemporary artist, juxtaposing the classical with the modern. I did not pay much attention the painting, while well done, it just did not capture my attention.
West Central France, Limestone, 1150-1190
Egyptian, Old Kingdom, early 5th Dynasty, ca 2440 B.C.
This capital is incorrectly identified in the museums label which describes it as being carved of marble, Roman, First Century A.D. Instead it is in fact limestone, and I think it is Greek from Taranto, and dating to the Fourth Century B.C. Quite a difference in rarity and importance since large scale architectural elements from Taranto are nearly unknown, I had never seen one before, so was surprised and happy to see this. Also a bit surprised that the museum so misunderstands it.
This marble statue is quite beautiful, and well preserved, and while lacking its head and lower arms is nonetheless quite intact for an ancient sculpture. Also being life size or just over life size, it is quite impressive with its beautifully detailed drapery revealing the voluptuous form underneath. A very good example of Classical sculpture at its best.
Bronze portrait bust of a woman. Roman, 2nd Century A.D.
Limestone Stela, from State of Campeche, Mexico.
Maya, Late Classic, ca 850 A.D.
Atributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio.
Italian, Florentine School, 1483-1561
Oil on wood panel.
Portrait of a Young Noblewoman.
Unknown artist of the School of Madrid.
Spanish, 17th Century, Oil on canvas.
Portrait of Samson Vryling Stoddard Wilder, by John Vanderlyn
American, 1775-1852, oil on canvas.
by Sir Thomas Lawrence, ca 1825
oil on canvas
There is much much more in this gem of a museum, it is well worth a detour to see it. I have known about it for years, but never gotten to Worcester. My next post will be about another odd gem in this town, the Higgins Armory. Worcester is surprisingly rich in art.