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  • Master Series

    The Worcester Art Museum's Master Series highlights selected works of art in galleries throughout the Museum. Each work is also the focus of a Third Thursday art talk presented by a scholar in the field, allowing for a more in-depth appreciation of the piece and artist.

    master series at wam

    Master Series Third Thursdays

    Enjoy an art talk related to one of the featured Master Series artists, plus music, cash bar and the company of other art enthusiasts! See our Upcoming Events listed below.

    Hosted by the WAM Members' Council

    Sponsored by AbbVie abbvie

    Presented with support from the Bernard G. and the Louise B. Palitz Fund and the Amelia and Robert H. Haley Memorial Lecture Fund.

    Media Partner:

    wgbh forum

    Master Series Videos

    Watch videos from Master Series Events filmed by WGBH Forum Network. Look for the video icon in our Past Events section below.


    Master Series


    Master Series   Third Thursdays

    Persian and Indian

    Preserved Pages: Book as Art in Persia and India, 1300–1800

    Thursday, November 15, 2018, 6pm

    Speaker: David Roxburgh, Ph. D., the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History at Harvard University.
    Topic: Illustrating Epic Poetry and History in Persian manuscripts from the Mongols to the Timurids.

    Claude Monet

    Monet's Waterloo Bridge

    Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6pm

    Speaker: Gloria Groom, Ph. D., David and Winton Green Curator at The Art Institute of Chicago
    Topic: New Light on Monet

    Utagawa Hiroshige

    Travels with Hiroshige

    Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6pm

    Speaker: Kit Brooks, PhD, Independent Curator.
    Topic: Blending into the Woodwork.

    Lee Mingwei

    Stone Journey

    Thursday, April 18, 2019, 6pm

    Speaker: Lee Mingwei, contemporary artist.
    Topic: Five Stories.

    Thomas Eakins

    The Spinner

    Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6pm

    Speaker: Erin Corrales-Diaz, PhD, Assistant Curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum.
    Topic: Thomas Eakins' The Spinner.


    Master Series


    Master Series  Third Thursdays

    Louis C. Tiffany and
    John La Farge

    Radiance Rediscovered: Stained Glass by Tiffany and La Farge

    video Watch a video of this event

    (Video by Troy B. Thompson Photography)

    Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6pm

    Speakers: T. Amanda Lett, Ph.D. Candidate, History of Art and Architecture Boston University; Diane Rousseau, stained glass conservator; and Amanda Chau, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation.
    Topic: The Techniques, Conservation, and History of John La Farge's Stained Glass.

    Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo di Credi

    A Miracle of Saint Donatus
    of Arezzo

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, May 17, 2018, 6pm

    Rediscovering Leonardo: Laurence Kanter, chief curator and the Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery, delves into the fascinating story behind this mysterious panel painting.

    Byron Kim's Paintings

    On the Relationship of Big and Small

    Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6pm

    Issues in Contemporary Art: contemporary artist Byron Kim will speak about his captivating life and work, including his unique approach to portraiture.

    Early Ming Dynasty

    Ming Huang and Yang Guifei Listening to Music

    Thursday, March 15, 2018, 6pm

    A Reinterpretation of Ancient Music at the Chinese Tang Court: enjoy a cello concert with College of the Holy Cross visiting musician-in-residence, Jan Muller-Szeraws. This performance will be introduced by Shirish Korde, composer and professor, College of the Holy Cross.

    Assyrian (Nimrud)

    A Winged Genius

    Thursday, February 15, 2018, 6pm

    In the Company of Genies: Ada Cohen, professor of Art History and the Israel Evans Professor in Oratory and Belles Lettres at Dartmouth College, contextualizes WAM's winged genius within the palace of the 9th-century BCE Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud in modern-day Iraq, where it was one of many such figures.

    Winslow Homer

    The Gale

    Thursday, November 16, 2017, 6pm

    Color and Line: Homer's Studies in England. Looking at Homer's English work for changes in color and line, Judith Walsh, Professor Emerita of Paper conservation, SUNY Buffalo State College, will show that this period was critical to his later success as demonstrated in the painting, The Gale.

    William Bullard

    Reuben Griffin Leaning
    Against a Tree

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, October 19, 2017, 6pm

    Maurice Wallace, associate director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, University of Virginia, will present the topic “We Look Like Men: Early Photography, War, and the Double-Bind of Black Manhood.” Strong Eagle Daly, Nipmuc flutist, will play a tribute to his ancestors preceding the lecture.


    Lady with a Red Box

    Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6pm

    Speaker: Vivian Li, Assistant Curator of Asian Art, Worcester Art Museum


    Master Vases

    April 5 - October 1, 2017

    Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6pm

    Speaker: Paula Artal-Isbrand, objects conservator, Worcester Art Museum; Amanda Reiterman, Archaeologist.

    Gaspar Miguel del Berrío

    Our Lady of Mount Carmel
    with Bishop Saints

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, March 16, 2017, 6pm

    Devotion, Illusion, Curtains, and Candles: The Virgin Mary in Colonial Peru

    Speaker: Michael Schreffler, Associate Professor, Art and Architecture of Spain and Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, University of Notre Dame.

    Mary Cassatt

    Reine Lefebvre Holding a Nude Baby (Mother and Child)

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, February 16, 2017, 6pm

    Speaker: Heather Lemonedes, Chief Curator, Cleveland Museum of Art.

    Pierre-Auguste Renoir

    The Jewish Wedding

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6pm

    Speaker: Judith Dolkart, Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper Director, Addison Gallery of American Art

    Jacob Lawrence

    The 1920's...The Migrants Cast Their Ballots

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6pm

    Speaker: Valerie J. Mercer, Curator of the General Motors Center for African American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts

    Image: © 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


    The Storm (A Lady Taking Shelter from the Monsoon Wind and Rain)

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, September 15, 2016, 6pm

    The Figurative and the Narrative in Courtly and Contemporary Art of India

    Speaker: Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Professor of Professional Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs

    Joachim Meyer

    Die Kunst des Fechtens
    ("The Art of Combat")

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6pm

    Learn about this rare and important German fencing manual, and explore the fascinating prints it contains to illustrate the Art of Combat. Speaker: Jeffrey Forgeng, Curator of Arms, Armor, and Medieval Art, Worcester Art Museum.

    Vision, Perception, and Art

    Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6pm

    Dr. Margaret Livingstone will explore the topic of Vision, Perception, and Art, focusing on objects in WAM's permanent collection, including Paul Signac's pointillist work Golfe Juan. Speaker: Margaret Livingstone, Takeda Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School


    Helmet for a Gladiator

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6pm

    Roman Spectacular Blood Sports:
    Both magnificent and menacing, the Worcester gladiatorial helmet invites us to enter the world of the Roman arena with its spectacular combats of men against men and against beasts... Read more
    Speaker: Donald G Kyle, Professor of History, University of Texas, Arlington

    Pierre Bonnard

    Dining Room in the Country

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, February 18, 2016, 6pm

    Explore Bonnard's enigmatic and delightful country scene through this exciting loan. Speaker: Worcester Art Museum Director Matthias Waschek


    Incised Standing Figure

    Thursday, November 19, 2015, 6pm

    Although small in stature, this stone figure reveals much about Olmec religion and culture. Learn what research performed in WAM's conservation lab has uncovered about this figure's facial scarification, body modification, and other spiritual symbols. Speaker: John Garton, Clark University

    Terri Priest

    Static Variations: Blue x 2

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6pm

    Work by Worcester native Terri Priest (who passed away in 2014) is as varied as it is loved. Learn more about the woman behind this newly acquired work by the Worcester Art Museum. Speaker: Roger Dunn, Bridgewater State University

    John Brewster, Jr.

    Portrait of Mary Coffin

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    Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6pm

    A Deaf Artist in Early America: The World of John Brewster, Jr.: John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854) was a prolific, deaf itinerant painter, who produced many portraits of New England families, especially their children. Speaker: Paul D'Ambrosio, President and CEO at Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers' Museum

    Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

    Fujiwara no Yasumasa
    Playing the Flute by Moonlight

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6pm

    Composer Shirish Korde will speak about the different types of historical Japanese flutes. Flutist Alice Jones will perform three musical pieces, including Korde's famed "The Tenderness of Cranes."


    The Three Musicians
    and The Stone Operation

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    Thursday, April 16, 2015, 6pm

    Rembrandt and Fallibility: 
    Jon L. Seydl, director of curatorial affairs and curator of European art, shares insights on two early works by the Dutch master.

    Anthony van Dyck

    Portrait of a Man

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, March 19, 2015, 6pm

    Portrait of a Man:
    Matthew Cushman, project conservator at Yale University, and Jon L. Seydl, director of curatorial affairs and curator of European art, discuss what conservation has revealed about this painting by Anthony van Dyck.


    The Cowper Madonna

    video Watch a video of this event

    Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6pm

    The Cowper Madonna:
    Scholar Linda Wolk-Simon, Director and Chief Curator, University Collections, Bellarmine Museum of Art, Fairfield University, sheds light on the Renaissance master, Raphael.

    This lecture is generously supported by the Robert and Amelia Hutchinson Haley Lectures Fund.

    Norman Rockwell

    Study for "The Nightwatchman"

    Thursday, November 20, 2014, 6pm

    Reflections on Rockwell:
    Deborah Solomon, author of American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell talks about one of America's most beloved artists.

    William Hogarth

    Portraits of William James
    and Elizabeth James

    Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6pm

    Preserving Mr. and Mrs. James:
    Worcester Art Museum conservators Rita Albertson and Philip Klausmeyer discuss their work restoring the Hogarth paintings.