Browse collaborations from previous years. For more information on collaborations contact [email here].
3D Printing Fingers and Toes for Conservation
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Scientists at WPI played an important role in the conservation of Edward Augustus Brackett’s sculpture Shipwrecked Mother and Child (1851), working with WAM conservators and 3D printing missing fingers and toes for the sculpture.
Drop DownText: Scientists at WPI played an important role in the conservation of Edward Augustus Brackett’s sculpture Shipwrecked Mother and Child (1851). A large-scale masterpiece of 19th century American art, this 1½ ton marble sculpture needed conservation work prior to being returned for display. WAM’s Objects Conservator Paula Artal-Isbrand began a partnership with scientists at WPI to 3D print missing fingers and toes for the sculpture. This process required many phases, from scanning the sculpture, to creating and testing numerous prototypes, before the missing fingers and toes were consistent with the anatomy of the sculpture’s figures. The conservation is now complete and the sculpture is on permanent view in gallery 207.
Beyond the Frame: Celebrating a Partnership in Public Education and the Arts
Worcester State University
Worcester State University collaborate in a collection of twelve essays bringing together an array of nationally recognized novelists, poets, and journalists, addressing a wide selection of works in the Museum’s collection.
Drop Down Text: This 72-page collection of twelve essays brings together an array of nationally recognized novelists, poets, and journalists, addressing a wide selection of works in the Museum’s collection. Among the works of art considered in these essays are: the medieval Chapter House from the Benedictine Priory of Saint John at Le Bas-Nueil; the portraits of John and Elizabeth Freake and their baby Mary, exceptional examples of early American painting; and Faith Ringgold’s Picasso’s Studio, an African American artist’s striking re-envisioning of Picasso’s use of African motifs. These, and other works, are addressed by writers such as:
- Lauren K. Alleyne, Poet and NAACP Image Award Finalist
- Lawrence Buell, Jay Hubbell Medalist
- Gish Jen, Lannan Literary Award winner and novelist
- Kirun Kapur, Indian American poet, journalist; winner of the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize in Poetry
- Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize winner for Biography
- Lloyd Schwartz, Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism
- Pablo Medina, Cuban American memoirist, novelist, poet, and Guggenheim Foundation grantee
- Anthony Walton, African American writer and recipient of a Whiting Award
Central to the book are contributions by several Worcester State University professors, including:
- Erika L. Briesacher, associate professor of history, a specialist in European history and museum studies.
- Karl R. Wurst, professor and chair of the computer science department, whose work has been supported by the National Science Foundation.
- Kristin Waters, professor emerita of the philosophy department, the author of Maria W. Stewart and the Roots of Black Political Thought, a 2022 finalist for the Pauli Murray Book Prize in Black Intellectual History.
- Heather Treseler, professor of English, a poet whose chapbook, Parturition, won an international prize from the Munster Literature Centre in Ireland.
Student Lead Podcast Dives Deep Into the WAM Collection
Students from Clark record a podcast as they research and explore works from WAM’s collection as a part of their coursework curriculum.
Drop Down Text: In Fall 2021, Kristina Wilson, Professor of Art History at Clark University, taught a course titled “Art, the Public, and Worcester’s Cultural Institutions,” in which she tasked her students with a final project that involved researching works in the Museum’s collection to create content for a new podcast. “WAM x University” launched in the Spring 2022 and is available for streaming on Spotify—and its success has opened the door for future classes and other universities to contribute new seasons, as an ongoing project for students to present research in new forms.
Creating works in response to Us Them We | Race Ethnicity Identity
Clark University Professor Toby Sisson and WAM curator of Prints and Drawings, Nancy Burns, co-curated Us Them We | Race Ethnicity Identify. They also guided Clark students through a course in which the students created and displayed their own works in response to those in the exhibition.
Drop Down Text: In tandem with Us Them We, WAM presented an exhibition featuring eleven Clark University students whose work addressed themes of identity, often in very personal ways. Comprised of drawings, photographs, paintings, and collages, the students created responses to objects in Us Them We. These works were the outcome of Clark’s studio course “Contemporary Directions,” which was co-taught by Sisson and Burns in spring 2021 and provided opportunities for students to speak with artists about their practice, use of different media, and their approach to creating visual expressions of complex ideas. The students’ works were displayed in an installation adjacent to the exhibition, giving them real-world exposure to the Museum’s audiences.
Augmenting Reality for an Exhibition
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Bringing the past to life with augmented reality, WPI students develop an app for the visitors of Jewels of the Nile to try on ancient Egyptian jewelry.
Drop Down Text: Scientists and students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) played an important role in the discovery section of the exhibition Jewels of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Treasures from the Worcester Art Museum. WPI worked alongside WAM to create a specialized app for the exhibition that would allow visitors to view and try on the ancient Egyptian jewelry through augmented reality (AR), as well as to 3D scan and print enlarged versions of select objects from the exhibition that visitors could touch.
Beginning in December of 2021, students and faculty met with WAM’s education and interpretation department to consider ways visitors could engage with the exhibition differently. The bulk of work in this collaboration was building the objects within the app. Students came to WAM and scanned select objects and jewelry from the exhibition to digitally manipulate. The creative process included preparation, 3D scanning, art and design, technology, testing, and deployment as well as user testing of the product to ensure functionality and experience goals. In addition to the AR app, one student also 3D printed replicas from the exhibition for visitors to be able to handle, even enlarging some of the smaller objects to allow for better exploration of detail.
The Armor: Clark students create video game based on arms and armor for the Higgins Collection at WAM
Over the course of two years, students and faculty from Clark collaborated with WAM Curator of Arms and Armor, Jeffery Forgeng on a video game based on the artifacts from the Higgins collection at WAM.
Drop Down Text: In this new and exciting video game, which has premiered at PAX East, the reception has expanded the Museum and its collections to new audiences who can enjoy the excitement of an adventure game that bases its weapons and equipment on the those from history. The Armory video game is available for download on [Download sites here]. WAM’s long-standing relationship with Clark has given countless students the opportunity to gain unique experience in the arts.