Leadership Team

Matthias Waschek

Jean and Myles McDonough Director

Matthias Waschek was appointed Director of the Worcester Art Museum in November 2011. Originally from Germany, he has a PhD in art history from Bonn University. Throughout his 20-year international career in the museum world, Waschek has worked to connect the broader public with new thinking about art history and archaeology—as Head of Academic Programs at the Louvre Museum in Paris (1992–2003), as Executive Director of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation St. Louis, Missouri (2003–2011), and now at the Worcester Art Museum. In addition, he has published extensively on French art of the 19th century, as well as on 20th-century and contemporary art.

Phyllis Boot

Executive Assistant

Phyllis Boot oversees all daily activities of the Director’s office and supports special projects of the Jean and Myles McDonough Director, as well as major aspects of Board engagement and management. Throughout her career, she has served as an executive assistant to numerous CEOs in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining the Worcester Art Museum, Boot was Executive Assistant of the CEO of VNA Care and of the Chief Human Resources Officer at Atrius Health. She also served as the Office and Systems Manager at The Wayland Group, a consulting practice serving non-profits. Boot joined the Worcester Art Museum’s leadership team in January 2018 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University.

Paul Comerford

Director of Facilities

Paul Comerford manages both the day-to-day maintenance and the long-term revitalization of the Museum’s campus—including its historic main building—with the ongoing goal of facilitating welcoming and inspiring experiences for visitors, staff, and partners. Comerford joined the Worcester Art Museum in 2023 and has been working in the facilities management field for over 30 years. He grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and attended the Dublin Institute of Technology, where he studied business management. He emigrated to Massachusetts in 1989, where he has since managed facilities for Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Town of Needham, the Town of Natick as Director of Public Facilities, and in 2017, as Director of Facilities for Worcester Public Schools, responsible for 50 buildings.

Matthew Cushman 

Conservator in Charge

Matthew Cushman leads the Museum’s team of conservators to care for the permanent collection and carry out projects to preserve, restore, and research works within the collection. With over 20 years of conservation experience, he came to the Worcester Art Museum from the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware, where he served as Conservator of Paintings for eight years. During this tenure, he simultaneously served as an Affiliated Assistant Professor at the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and as an international consultant and instructor on conservation cleaning techniques. Intimately familiar with the Museum’s collection, he worked previously at the Worcester Art Museum as both a graduate intern and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow. He received his M.S. in Art Conservation from the Winterthur program in 2007.

Marillyn Earley

Chief Advancement Officer

Marillyn Earley has worked in the development field for more than 25 years, including eight at the Worcester Art Museum. Prior to rejoining the Museum in 2017, she served as WAM’s Annual Fund Director from 1995 to 1998 and as Director of Development from 1998 to 2001. She led the Centennial Campaign at the Worcester Art Museum that raised more than $30 million to build the Museum’s endowment. From 1998 to 2017, Earley was the Director of Advancement at Worcester Academy, where she led the completion of their Honor the Legacy campaign and initiated and led their recently completed ONWARD campaign. She has a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and has completed additional course work in education and non-profit management.

Madeline Feller

Director of Communications and Marketing

Madeline Feller is responsible for leading all comprehensive communications and marketing activities including branding, public relations, advertising, social media, and web presence. She also serves as the Museum’s primary spokesperson and media contact. With the Museum’s mission, vision, and Strategic Plan central to her day-to-day, her focus is on broadening the Museum’s audiences and further engaging current audiences. Feller joined the Worcester Art Museum in 2022 after working for six years in communications at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. She has a bachelor’s degree in art history and communications from McGill University.

Julie Quinne

Interim Human Resources Director and Culture Consultant

Julie Quinne oversees Human Resources and leads the Museum’s efforts to develop and maintain a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive culture. She brings over 20 years of experience in executive leadership, human resources, and management development, running her own consulting company, Uncommon Consulting, LLC, since 2009 and leading various human resources teams at the executive level in both domestic and international settings. A life-long resident of Worcester, Quinne holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication and rhetoric from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a master’s degree in management from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was a recipient of Lesley’s Award for Excellence in Management Research.

Gareth Salway

Director of Collections Management

Gareth Salway is responsible for collections management, overseeing the Museum’s Registration and Exhibition Design & Fabrication departments, as well as the library and archives. Salway has been involved with museum collections management for 25 years, beginning his career in the United Kingdom where he worked in both government-owned and independent museums. Prior to joining the Worcester Art Museum in 2015, Salway worked on the development of international collections management standards and served on the Board of Collections Trust, the UK’s national body for collections management. He has a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Leicester.

Mark Spuria

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Spuria oversees all of the Museum’s financial operations, with an emphasis on assuring alignment with the organization’s strategic goals. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial management and administration in the arts, having served most recently as the General Manager (2016–present) and CFO (2011–2016) for the Maynard, Massachusetts-based company Verne Q. Powell Flutes, where he worked since 1996. In addition to his financial skills, Spuria has a love of the arts: he served as the Principal Clarinetist for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for seven years, and has held positions on a number of different non-profit boards, including ArtsWorcester, the Worcester Chamber Music Society, and as a Corporator and member of the Finance Committee for the Worcester Art Museum.

Marnie Weir

Director of Learning and Engagement

Marnie Weir oversees the full scope of art education at the Museum, including preK–12 school programs, studio art classes, tour and docent programs, public programming, community partnerships, and gallery interpretation. Using the Museum’s mission, vision, values, and collection as the foundation, she leads a collaborative focus on learning and inspiration, helping connect visitors of all ages and abilities with art and its ongoing relevance to daily life. With over 20 years of experience, Weir joined the Worcester Art Museum in 2018 after working at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. She has a master’s degree in museum education from Bank Street College of Education.

Claire C. Whitner

Director of Curatorial Affairs and the James A. Welu Curator of European Art

Claire Whitner brings together the Worcester Art Museum’s curators and conservators to collaborate on new exhibitions and installations, closely guided by the Museum’s mission to connect people, communities, and cultures through the experience of art. She takes a leading role in shaping the Museum’s collecting efforts, working with the Director and curators to identify and secure gifts and purchases that address specific collection needs. Whitner also oversees the Museum’s ongoing work to reexamine installations in permanent collections galleries. Prior to coming to the Worcester Art Museum, Whitner served as Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. She has also held curatorial and research positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Skirball Cultural Center, and the Getty Research Institute at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has expertise in German modernism and 17th-century Dutch painting and holds a PhD in Germanic languages from the University of California, Los Angeles.