The Worcester Art Museum announced that it has received an $825,000 grant in support of precontemporary American art from the Henry Luce Foundation. The grant will fund a three-year program of exhibitions and curatorial apprenticeships that will focus on showcasing less-frequently seen works from the museum’s American art collection.
“Since its earliest days, the museum has prioritized the acquisition of American art and, as a result, we have an exemplary collection of paintings, prints, drawings, and decorative arts from the 1600s to the present day,” Jon L. Seydl, director of curatorial affairs and curator of European art, said. “However, many of these works have received less attention for research and exhibition in the last twenty years as the museum focused on presenting its colonial and twentieth-century holdings. This crucial support from the Luce Foundation makes it possible for the museum, led by our curator of American art, Elizabeth Athens, to re-engage vigorously with many of these compelling works and explore new ways to present them to the public.”
The grant will allow the museum to open an exhibition featuring several stained-glass windows by John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany for Boston’s Mount Vernon Congregational Church. The works have not been on view in more than forty years. Among the other projects the grant will support is the conservation of numerous works, including Edward Augustus Brackett’s marble sculpture Shipwrecked Mother and Child, 1848–50, which was acquired by the museum in 1904 but has not been on view since the 1940s, and the creation of a catalogue of approximately thirty-six hundred North American drawings, prints, and photographs from the Charles E. Goodspeed Collection, purchased by the museum in 1910.
Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the cofounder and editor in chief of Time Inc., the Henry Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious, and art communities.