Traveling Exhibitions

The Age of Armor: Treasures from the Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum

American popular culture often depicts the suit of armor as a common sight in museums, yet significant collections of armor are actually rare outside of Europe. Thus, when the Worcester Art Museum inherited the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection in 2014, it became the steward of one of very few major armor collections in the Americas. To display and interpret this extraordinary constellation of objects from across centuries and around the globe, the Museum has begun the major undertaking of creating permanent galleries dedicated to arms and armor. While this project is being completed, WAM has organized a traveling exhibition featuring 89 of the objects that steel manufacturer John Woodman Higgins assembled as a testament to the beauty and versatility of metalworking. The Age of Armor: Treasures from the Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum will give new audiences a rare—perhaps once-in-a-lifetime—opportunity to experience and enjoy this remarkable collection, unlikely to travel again in such numbers.

The catalog for The Age of Armor: Treasures from the Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum can be purchased at the Museum Shop during Museum open hours or online.

Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum

Over the past 125 years, the Worcester Art Museum has assembled a stunning collection of American and European paintings that tell the story of Impressionism’s roots and emergence in France and its subsequent expansion to the United States, Germany, Scandinavia, and beyond. The collection has been shaped and expanded from WAM’s earliest decades when the Museum purchased paintings by Monet from his Paris dealer, Durand-Ruel, as well as directly from Childe Hassam. A longtime favorite with visitors, this sweeping collection will now delight new audiences in the traveling exhibition, Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum. The show includes 53 works by over 30 artists—including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, and Max Slevogt. Together, they demonstrate Impressionism’s international allure and its national adaptations captured in subjects from Monet’s famed Giverny lily pond to the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon.

The Floating World: Masterpieces of Edo Japan from the Worcester Art Museum  

Marking the first time the Worcester Art Museum is touring its collection of Japanese prints, this exhibition explores one of the world’s most vibrant artistic eras. 150 prints and paintings from the Worcester Art Museum illustrate the beauty of everyday life during Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868), an era characterized by peace and prosperity. With no wars to be waged, members of the ruling warrior class established themselves in major cities like Tokyo (then called Edo), Kyoto, and Osaka, where they patronized the trades of artists, merchants, entertainers, and courtesans. Sharing the same urban spaces and a vibrant visual culture, these groups belonged to what was popularly known as the ukiyo, or the “floating world.” This exhibition focuses on the artistic genre of ukiyo-e, which translates to “pictures of the floating world,” with works by iconic artists including Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, and Kitagawa Utamaro.