Some of the highlights of Fiscal Year 2013 (Sept. 2012 – August 31, 2013) have been the result of long preparation—the extremely successful exhibition Kennedy to Kent State, the Jeppson Idea Lab, and the finalized gift of the Smith Collection among them. Others came much earlier than anticipated: the announcement of the plan to integrate the Higgins Armory Collection—an armor collection second only to that of the Metropolitan Museum—into our own collection, which will augment our collection by five percent and strengthen an ongoing transformation of WAM into a family-friendly destination. And finally, an opportunity arose that we hadn't even thought about at the beginning of the year: the game-changing gift of Paolo Veronese's painting Venus Disarming Cupid from around 1560. The Worcester Art Museum is definitely gaining momentum, as demonstrated by a 70 percent increase of foot traffic to the galleries since 2011, the year before the transition of leadership.
What the friends of WAM may not be aware of is how hard we are working behind the scenes to ensure the institution's long-term sustainability. The Museum has undergone an all-encompassing restructuring process, a strategic plan is close to being accomplished, and a substantial amount of time and thinking have gone toward diversifying our income streams. I am proud to announce that various museum operations are not only breaking even but generating additional revenue, our gifts and grants are up by 214 percent since FY11, and. thanks to the strong support of local and regional foundations, we were able to raise close to half of the projected $12M needed to help integrate the Higgins collection since March 2013.
Join us in celebrating these successes and look forward with us to a successful FY14!
Matthias Waschek, Director