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Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation Related Events

opening party


Oral History Project
A collaborative team of curators, historians and educators identified individuals within the Worcester community (and beyond) whose stories related to both the time period and the culture displayed in  the Kennedy to Kent State photographs. 

Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation Opening Party
September 29, 2012, 8-11pm
See pictures from this event

Viewer Response Exhibition: Post on Our Wall
Higgins Education Wing
September 24, 2012 – February 3, 2013
We invite you to share your thoughts, memories, opinions and best photos from the 60s/70s in this participatory, intergenerational exhibition. See guidelines and read more at

Worcester State University Students respond to Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation exhibition
These writings grow out of a pilot project between Worcester State University and the Worcester Art Museum. Students of Professor Mark Wagner, Professor Adrian Gage, and Professor Domingo Guyton viewed the Kennedy to Kent State Show and were then tasked with writing about the photographs.
Full writings here


September Tour of the Month: Wars & Art
Wednesday, September 19, 2pm
Saturday, September 22, 2pm
Free with Museum admission
Docent Jane Pastore will explore wars and effects on the art world, including the German occupation, the effects of WWI, and the Bolshevik Revolution.
October Tour of the Month: A Piece of My Heart
Wednesday, October 17, 2pm
Saturday, October 20, 2pm
Free with Museum admission
Join theatre students from Worcester colleges as they interpret passages from Keith Walker’s book “A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam.” Sessions will be held in Kennedy to Kent State.

November Tour of the Month: The 12 Steps
Wednesday, November 14, 2pm
Saturday, November 17, 2pm
Free with Museum admission
Twelve Step programs are well known for use in recovery from addictive or dysfunctional behaviors. Docent Ginny Powell-Brasier will lead you through works of art that represent this spiritual progression.
December Tour of the Month: Music & Art
Wednesday, December 12, 2pm
Saturday, December 15, 2pm
Free with Museum admission
Docent Jane Maguire continues to explore this popular topic, as she ties pieces of music to works in the WAM collection in historical, cultural, and emotional ways.


Art of a Generation
Thursdays, September 27 thru October 18, 7-9pm
Members $70 / nonmembers $95 (pre-registration required)
Reserve online
Kennedy to Kent State provides the context for the contrasting styles of American painting that developed in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. From the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning to the Photorealism of Audrey Flack and Richard Estes, we will study thirty years of painting that are also illustrated by the Color Field painting of Mark Rothko, the Pop Art of Andy Warhol, and the Op Art of Bridget Riley.  During the final class, we'll explore relevant works in the Museum. Taught by WAM Faculty member Martha Chiarchiaro.

Symposium: Photography, Media, and Society: the 60s and Beyond
Saturday, October 13, 8am-5:30pm
WPI Campus (Olin 107) and the Worcester Art Museum
This major symposium will explore how photography has contributed to the collective memory of the country and has influenced American identity and thought. This day-long event will examine how consumption of visual images has changed – and how that change has influenced our collective consciousness. Topics of discussion include: why and how people remember images across time and cultures; how images have been transmitted to the public and what has evolved and changed to deliver messages differently (newspaper, television, and magazines, to websites and blogs); how “images,” even imagined, have a lasting resonance in our culture; and how media moments can affect our culture.        
Speakers will include:

  • Martha McKenna, Moderator (Lesley University)
  • John Louis Lucaites & Robert Hariman (co-authors of the book/blog "No Caption Needed")
  • Judy Richardson (Former SNCC staff, historian, and filmmaker, specializing in Black History & Civil Rights Movement)
  • James Willis (Journalist, professor, Azusa University, Author "100 Media Moments That Changed America")
  • Bestor Cram (film director/producer, and member Vietnam Veterans Against the War)
  • Jerry Lembcke (Author "The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam" and "Hanoi Jane")
  • Gallery Discussion with Matthias Waschek, WAM Director and David Acton, WAM Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photography, and Curator of Kennedy to Kent State

Free and open to the public through generous sponsorship from MassHumanities and WPI.

Chamber Music Series
Sunday, October 14
American Century Music, Scott Parkman, Artistic Director
Prelude:  Casals: The Song of the Birds for Cello
Sessions               Six Pieces for Cello
Diamond              String Quartet No. 7
Reich                     Violin Phase
Kirchner               Quartet No. 3 for Strings and Electronic Tape
Concert will include the opportunity to enjoy a tour of Kennedy to Kennedy to Kent State with curator David Acton. Program celebrates American classical music of the 1960’s. Post concert reception. Concert time and locations to be determined. Program subject to change. Learn more about Chamber Series
Sponsored by a gift from Nydia and Charles Moser.

Motown and the Civil Rights Movement
Thursday, October 18, 5:30pm, Café
Held in Conjunction with AFTER HOURS
Free with Museum admission
Motown was the music that inspired a generation, a trendsetting sound whose artists broke down racial, gender and societal barriers. This engaging multimedia presentation traces the development of, and interconnections between, the escalating popularity of the Motown Sound; The Sound of Young America, and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. From his perspective as a pop music historian, and with the help of archival video and music clips, Tom Ingrassia will take you on a musical journey back to a turbulent time in American history, when we were younger, crazier, and in love—and when we were all swinging and swaying to the sound that reigned supreme!
Family Day: Everything 60s
Sunday, October 21, 11am-2:30pm
Free with Museum admission; children 17 and under FREE
Explore the Worcester Art Museum and the 1960s in this exciting day for kids and their families! Enjoy art-making activities, performances, a special gallery scavenger hunt, and more.
Photography after Photography
Wednesday, October 24, 6-7:30pm
Members $15 / nonmembers $30 (pre-registration required)
Taught by WAM Curator Nancy Burns, this class will explore how we define a photograph when photographs no longer exist solely in relation to a celluloid negative. In today's digital world, how do we approach, or even trust, a photograph when it is so easy to manipulate without the viewer's knowledge? Looking primarily at photography from the 80s and 90s, we will survey the outer limits of what we can (and cannot) call photography. Then we can turn back to 'traditional photography' as seen in Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation and determine how these photographs may or may not be approached differently in light of the new media we engage with today.
Feminist Art History
Thursdays, November 8 to December 6, 7-9pm (no class Nov 22)
Members $70 / nonmembers $95 (pre-registration required)
Reserve online
Join artist Lynn Simmons as she examines strategies used by feminist artists during the 60s and 70s. Learn how these approaches have been adopted and rejected by the dominant culture.  We'll begin by defining feminism and its inclusiveness of difference, breaking boundaries of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and class.  Then, we'll take a look at specific artists from the Feminist Art Movement and conclude with their influence on contemporary artists and visual culture.  Weekly readings and dialogue will be included. Sponsored by MassHumanities.


An Intergenerational Conversation with US Veterans
Saturday, November 10, 2pm
Free admission for Veterans today, 10am-5pm
Join us for a conversation with veterans from Operation Vet 2 Vet and the Worcester’s Mission Direct Vet. Event will be followed by a walk-through of Kennedy to Kent State.

Artist Talk: David Hume Kennerly
Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2pm
Free admission for Veterans today, 11am-5pm
Conference Room at the Worcester Art Museum
David Hume Kennerly will speak about his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph on display in Kennedy to Kent State, placing the show in direct personal and historical context. Kennerly won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his portfolio of photographs taken of the Vietnam War and other subjects. Following Nixon's resignation, Kennerly was named Chief White House Photographer during the Ford administration. Free and open to the public through generous sponsorship from MassHumanities and by the Amelia Hutchinson Haley Lecture Fund.


Songs of the Protest Movement
Thursday December 20, 6pm, Café
Held in conjunction with AFTER HOURS
Free with Museum admission
Dr. Robert J.S. Ross (Clark University) will lead this discussion, as he plays music from the American Civil Rights Movement (1955-68). He will present comments about origins, historical context, and notes on the meaning of the songs. Dr. Ross’s presentation will be held in a 60s-style coffee house setting. Held in conjunction with WAM’s AFTER HOURS program. Sponsored by MassHumanities.


Interior Design in the 1960s
Sunday, January 6, 2pm, Conference Room
Dr. Kristina Wilson (Clark University) will examine the rise and popularity of modern design in American suburban homes from the 1950s through the 1960s. The landscape of suburbia, popularly known in these decades as the ultimate landscape of conformity, was a surprising epicenter of the blossoming acceptance of modern design: iconic chairs, tables, and bookcases by Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and George Nelson filled the shelter magazines of the period and (to a slightly lesser extent) the homes of the American suburbs. This lecture will discuss some of the major iconic objects of the period, and analyze the stylistic changes from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s. It will also evaluate the lifestyles and behaviors that such objects promoted, and consider them as agents in understanding the fabric of American popular life in these decades.Sponsored by MassHumanities and by the Amelia Hutchinson Haley Lecture Fund.


Chamber Music Series
Sunday, January 13
Worcester Chamber Music Society
The White House and Beyond.  
Program includes works performed at the Kennedy White House
Beethoven         Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69
Ben Johnston    String Quartet No. 4 “Amazing Grace”
Copland               Threnody I & II
Mendelssohn    Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op. 29
Concert will include the opportunity to enjoy a tour of Kennedy to Kennedy to Kent State with curator David Acton. Program celebrates American classical music of the 1960’s. Post concert reception. Concert time and locations to be determined. Program subject to change. Learn more about Chamber Series
Sponsored by a gift from Nydia and Charles Moser.
Fully-illustrated exhibition catalog will be available in The Museum Shop at the start of the exhibition.

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